Wednesday, November 30, 2005

NaNoWriMo - What Was I Thinking?

NaNoWriMo - What Was I Thinking?

Today is the last day of November and I was supposed to have 50,000 words written for NaNoWriMo. What was I thinking? For those of you who have no idea what I am talking about visit The National Novel Writing Month website.

It seemed like a good idea when I first heard about it and I got off to a really good start with over 4,000 words in the first week. Then life got in the way; visits from out of town relatives, Thanksgiving preparations, picking out a Christmas tree, Christmas shopping, work, etc. I soon discovered that to write 50,000 words in 30 days is an awesome undertaking and to do it during the busy holiday season is just plain crazy! Sadly, I have ended up with only about 10,000 words for my novel.

You might think of this as a failure. I am disappointed because I did not reach my goal, but the optimist in me is excited because I finally got started on that novel I have been putting off for years. Now I have nearly 10,000 words completed and a great story line working! So this was not a failure for me but rather a stepping stone and I want to thank all those other crazy writers from the Blog Explosion Shout Box who talked me into doing this. I will be back again next year for the madness!

Monday, November 28, 2005

Christmas Tree Lights

Christmas Tree Lights

OK...we went to the tree farm last week and picked out a GREAT Christmas tree. It even fits in the living room this year, didn't have to trim it down when I got home.

Now the real fun begins. I go out to the storage shed to find the Christmas decorations. OH MY GOODNESS...can all of these boxes really contain Christmas decorations?

I end up lugging in a dozen boxes all marked Christmas. I find the box with the lights for the tree and discover that many of them do not work. That's funny, they worked last year just fine. Well, maybe I can just replace a bulb or two and they will be ok? Of course not, what a silly idea. There are six strands of lights and each strand has a different type or size bulb. They are not interchangable, that would be much too easy. Anyway, I can't figure out which light needs to be replaced because there are a bunch that are out. I would have to change every one until I found the one that controls the rest of them. Don't have time or patience for all of that. I will just run to the store and buy new lights!

The guy at the tree farm said that it would be better to run the lights from top to bottom instead of going around and around the tree like I have been doing for decades! He said it is better for the branches on this type of tree. OK, I'm willing to try something new. I try the new method of stringing the lights and finally get it just right.

Oh, comes my wife; now she has to get her two-cents in and starts to rearrange all of the lights!
At last -- the lights are up and look GREAT. Now for the rest of the decorations. We go through the same thing every year; my wife asks me to help her decorate the tree, but it never fails that she ends up moving at least half of the decorations I place to a different spot! That's ok, the tree always ends up looking wonderful. I will take a picture after it is finished and post it here for all to see.

If anyone has a GREAT idea on how to pack the lights away for next year I am open for suggestions. I usually end up with a big tangled mess that I have to sort out, not an easy task. Best solution I have found so far is to wrap each strand individually with a rubber band to keep them seperated.

Please leave your comments and suggestions. MERRY CHRISTMAS.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

I'm Sick of Cindy Sheehan

I'm Sick of Cindy Sheenan

As if we have not seen enough of Cindy Sheehan, now she has a book coming out! It seems that she had been blogging and a publisher liked what she wrote in her blog so now she has a book,
"Not One More Mother's Child".

I'm sorry that she lost her son in Iraq, but she has taken this way too far! Her son Casey, enlisted of his own free will and had actually re-enlisted after his tour was over. Cindy Sheehan is a publicity hound and an attention grabber. She should be proud of what her son did...he was serving his country because he wanted to. She is tarnishing his reputation and good name by pursuing her own agenda.

Her husband has filed for divorce and her in-laws have publicly stated that they do not agree with her views. Cindy Sheehan has a book tour planned and when she is not harassing President Bush by camping out in Crawford, or getting arrested in Washington D.C., she has been making the rounds as a public speaker.

War is hell, and people die in wars. That's a fact of life, so get over it Cindy! Your son was a patriot and a proud veteran, let him rest in peace!

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Welome Ficken Chingers

Welcome Ficken Chingers

This week I have a new tenant, please welcome Angie and take a few minutes to visit her blog, Ficken Chingers. Just what does Ficken Chingers mean? Read the explaination here:

Angie says about herself: "I am a 34 year old wife and mother, desperately trying to stay 'cool', but failing miserably. I would relive the 80's if I could. I love all things 80's. I am addicted to tv and blogs... I tend to write about silly things so if you are looking for a serious blogger, I ain't yer girl."

Do yourself a favor and pop on over to Angie's blog, you will find it refreshing to read. Tell her that cmmdtp sent you from Ramblings and Rhetoric.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Who needs pumpkin pie, just give me the cool whip!

Who needs pumpkin pie, just give me the cool whip!

Here is my best picture from Thanksgiving. No, she is not going mad and foaming at the mouth. Ashley is learning how to eat cool whip directly from the can!

Wax On, Wax Off

Wax On, Wax Off

If you haven't heard the famous words of advice,
"Wax on, wax off", given by Mr. Miyagi to his young karate student, then you missed a classic movie. I'm referring to "The Karate Kid," starring Ralph Macchio as Daniel-san. Pat Morita played Daniel-san's sensei who taught him karate while making him perform seemingly unrelated chores like painting a fence, sanding a deck and waxing cars. Mr. Morita died of natural causes on Thanksgiving Day, at the age of 73, in his home in Las Vegas.

"The Karate Kid" earned Pat Morita an Acadamy Award nomination for best supporting actor. Three sequels followed the first "Karate Kid" movie and Mr. Miyagi's "crane kick" from the end of the first movie was mimicked by a whole generation of young fans!

Before "The Karate Kid", Pat Morita appeared on "Happy Days" as Arnold. He also made appearances on "Sanford and Son", "Mash", "The Odd Couple", "Murder She Wrote", "Bay Watch" and "Magnum P.I." just to name a few.

Morita's life story would make an interesting movie. He was born in California to immigrant fruit pickers. When he was a child Pat was hospitalized with spinal tuburculocis. Unfortunatly, when he got out of the hospital it was bad timing. During World War II, he
was sent to an internment camp along with thousands of other Japanese-Americans.

I grew up watching "Happy Days",
and being a martial-arts student myself, I loved "The Karate Kid" movies! Mr. Miyagi was an unforgettable character and a GREAT teacher. Another Hollywood legend passes away...Pat Morita will be missed.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Call Waiting -- It's Just WRONG!

Call Waiting -- It's Just WRONG!

"Can you hold a minute, I'm getting another call?" How many times have you heard that? I think it is just WRONG! In other words, "There might be somebody more important than you calling, so I would rather talk to them." Now tell me that is not rude!

Who invented call waiting anyway? I'm all for multi-tasking but in this case it's just WRONG. We have call waiting on our phone, but I just ignore the beeps. I figure if it's important they can call back later, if it's not important then I'm not missing anything anyway.

So next time you hear that little beep in the middle of a conversation, just ignore it.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

American Music Awards

American Music Awards

In 1973 Dick Clark created the American Music Awards as an alternative to the Grammy Awards. All genres of music are honored at the AMA. This year marked the 33rd annual award ceremony. It was held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California.

Winners included: Will Smith, Gwen Stefani, Black Eyed Peas, R. Kelly, Miriah Carey, and Destiny's Child.
Click Here for the complete list of winners. The show was hosted by Cedric the Entertainer and there were many GREAT performances.

I didn't see the whole show, but I catch some of it. Cyndi Lauper and Sarah McLachlan did an awesome job singing together and got a standing ovation from the huge crowd! I also saw my man Santana perform with Los Lonely Boys, another outstanding live performance.

One thing that was missing from this year's show were many of the winners! I think it is just WRONG and very disrespectful that so many winners did not show up to accept their awards. Among the no shows were R. Kelly, Michelle Williams and Beyonce Knowles, Green Day, Kelly Clarkson, Black Eyed Peas, Eminem and 50 Cent. I know all these folks have busy schedules, but if you are nominated for a prestigious award you should adjust your schedule to show up at the ceremony! Shame on these no shows!

Photo by Mark J. Terrill/AP

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Blogging Gear Christmas Gifts

Blogging Gear Christmas Gifts

If you are know someone that is addicted to blogging, there is still time to order some great Christmas gifts from my
Blog Addicts Online Store.

If you order by December 8th your gift can still be delivered in time for Christmas.
Great selection of t-shirts, ball caps, sweat shirts, coffee mugs, hoodies, etc. Check out the store today: Blog Addicts Online Store . Designs were made by your blogging buddy JustPureMood.

Have a safe and happy holiday season.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Christmas Tree Tips

Christmas Tree Tips

It's that time again; the day after Thanksgiving is the official start of the Christmas Season. The malls will be mobbed with frantic shoppers and people looking for Christmas decorations. We always have a real tree and part of the fun is going to the tree farm and picking out the perfect tree for Christmas. (If you are into artificial trees, this article isn't for you.)

Here are some tips for picking that perfect tree:

Plan Ahead

It's a good idea to decide ahead of time where you are going to place your tree. Measure the height and width available (my wife always picks the biggest tree and we end up having to trim it down when we get home). Bring a tape measure with you when you go to choose your tree. Don't forget to measure the tree stand also. If your tree stand will only open to 3 inches you don't want to buy a tree with a 5 inch trunk!

Tree Placement

Avoid placing your tree in a high traffic area or near a heat vent or fireplace. You don't want people bumping into the tree as they walk past it or tripping over the cords. You certainly don't want your tree to dry out or burst into flames from being next to a heat source.

Fill a Bucket

Before leaving to pick up your tree fill a bucket with lukewarm water. Then when you get back you can set your tree in it outside. A fresh cut tree will be really thirsty the first couple of days. It's a good idea to leave it outside in the water bucket until you are ready to bring it in and start decorating.

Be Prepared

Bring a pair of gloves with you to protect your hands and an old blanket or sheet to put the tree on while transporting it. Don't forget the tape measure and some rope in case they don't have it available where you purchase your tree. It's also a good idea to bring an unbreakable ornament with you so you can test the tree and see if the ornament hangs straight or if the branches are too close togehter.

Picking Your Tree

Here are a few things to consider when looking at the trees. Of course you want one that is straight and has a nice shape. The needles should be green and shiny not brown and dull. If you shake the branches they shouldn't fall off. There are many types of trees and some are easier to decorate than others, so keep that in mind when tree shopping.

Have fun and Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Walk the Line

Walk the Line

We went to see Walk the Line today and I have to say it was a GREAT movie! If you are a Johnny Cash fan this is a must see. Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon do an excellent job playing Johnny Cash and June Carter and they did all of their own singing in the movie also.

This is a story about music, drug addiction, infidelity and love. It is filled with great songs and it brought tears to our eyes; a wonderful romantic tragedy. The movie is 136 minutes long, but well worth it. We didn't want it to end.

Why Do We Have To Rake Leaves?

Why Do We Have To Rake Leaves?

Fall is my favorite time of year, except for one thing - raking leaves! What is the purpose of having to remove the leaves from your lawn anyway? They must have fallen from the trees for a reason, who are we to mess with the master plan? I say, just leave the darn leaves where they fall. It's kind of like compost for your lawn, isn't it?

I will admit that with the invention of the leaf blower, it has become much easier of a chore to clean up the yard; however, I still complain every year as I am going about this task. To make matters worse, 99% of the leaves on my lawn are not mine! They came from my neighbors yard. I think there should be a rule that the person who belongs to the tree where the leaves came from should be the one who has to clean up the mess!

We are fortunate to live in a small town where they come around with a truck and a huge vaccuum system to suck up your piles of leaves. We don't have to go through the added chore of bagging them up. All we do is blow them to the side of the road in big piles and the town will come and suck them up every Thursday. They also have a wood chipper and will chop up piles of branches if you have them next to the curb. Isn't that nice?

I love the pretty colors of the changing leaves in the fall and the sudden arrival of cool, brisk breezes to stir up the autumn smells, it is very refreshing. I just hate it that the leaves have to be cleaned up. Does any one else share my feelings? Please leave a comment.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Welcome A New Tenant

Welcome A New Tenant

This week I have a new tenant renting my blog. Please take a few minutes to visit Melissa at "Jetting Through Life". Melissa says that she is a normal person just trying to get by in everyday life and her life is really boring. However, if you read her post from Wed., Nov. 16th, it sure doesn't sound very boring to me. She talks about police, and news crews, and helicopters and bank robbers brandishing AK-47s running around her neighborhood!

Her blog is very interesting, so be sure to visit her and tell her that cmmdtp sent you from ramblingsandrhetoric.

Modern Technology and Sleepless Nights

Modern Technology and Sleepless Nights

I am really fond of modern technology, but lately it has been driving me a little bit crazy! You see, we have high-speed Internet and digital phone service through our local cable system. The alarm system to our house and outside storage shed is also tied in to the cable service.

Now here is the conundrum: It is currently 3:00 am in the morning, my heart is pounding in my chest and I am wide awake! A few minutes ago my wife and I were startled when our alarm went off and woke us from a sound sleep. This is not the first time this has happened in the middle of the night, and it is quite annoying!

Here is the scenerio. The loud, piercing siren will go off and I will jump up out of bed. Usually I end up stubbing my toe on the nightstand next to our bed, then I will crash into the dresser in the dark as I rush to check the doors and see if there is an intruder that I have to fight. Meanwhile my wife will say, "What is going on?" I tell her to hush as I switch to my kung-fu mode and sneak through the house ready to pounce on any home invaders that may be lurking about!
I peer out the window into the darkness trying to see if anyone is trying to break into our storage shed. Confident that everything looks ok there, I grab my nunchucks that are hanging on our bedpost as I exit the bedroom and tip-toe through the house. (Bruce Lee would be proud of me as I maintain perfect balance and form with each step I take.) I check the front door, everything is secure there. Next I gaze out the front window and look at our cars, they seem to be untouched. Then I peek around the corner into the kitchen and check that door, no problem there either.

I tell my wife it's ok to come out now (of course she didn't stay in the bedroom as instructed and was right behind me anyway.) Then I punch in our secret code to shut off the alarm which has probably awakened the entire neighborhood by now. I take a deep breath and sit down to relax an unwind for a minute, then I notice that the trouble light is still showing on the alarm panel. When I pick up the phone to call the alarm company and ask them how to reset the darn thing there is no dial tone! Then it dawns on me that there was a power surge or something like that which caused the phone to go out. The alarm interpets this as a problem and that's why we were up at 3:00 am unable to go back to sleep.

Well as long as I am up I figure it would be a good time to turn on my computer and get some work done. I have several websites that need to be updated, a blog that needs some new entries and four email accounts that I have to check. Stupid me -- of course I can't do any of that because there is no Internet connection if the digital phone service is out! I grab the cell phone to call the cable company and find out what the problem is, but of course I can't get a decent signal on my cell while I am in the house! Should I get dressed and walk half-way down the block to get a signal or just give it up and go back to bed?

Oh yes, let's not forget that for there is cost for all of this great modern technology that doesn't work! The high-speed Internet connection and digital phone service runs right at $100.00 a month; alarm system costs $32.00 a month; and two cell phones that won't get a signal in our own house cost about $150.00 a month. That's a total of almost $200.00 a month for this GREAT modern technology!

There is more to this story, but I will bore you with those details at another time. It involves an emergency visit to the doctor because of the alarm going off in the middle of the night. Don't get me wrong, I still love modern technology and could not live with out my high speed Internet connection, I just needed to vent a little!

As always, your comments are welcome.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

How Safe Is Air Travel?

How Safe Is Air Travel?

With the Holiday season quickly approaching and many families making travel arrangements, the question arises as to how safe is air travel these days.

Here is an excerpt from an article in USA Today...Passenger planes carried 6 billion pounds of cargo last year, and only a very small percentage is the entire article in USA Today:
Most Airline Cargo Isn't Checked For Exlosives

There is a website called where you will find all kinds of information on airline safety records and events that have occured. This is a very cool site, check it out.

For a humorous look at the topic read this article from

Many changes have been made to improve airport security since 911, but I still get butterflies in my stomach everytime I have to fly! I used to enjoy looking out the window of the plane and taking in all the beauty of the clouds and the earth far below! Now I spend my time in flight observing the faces of the other passengers trying to figure out who may be a terrorist!

Oh, let's not forget about all the time I spend praying while I am traveling!

Let me know how you feel about flying these days. Please leave a comment.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

In God We Trust

In God We Trust

Michael Newdow is at it again! Now he wants to have the words, "In God we trust" removed from U.S. coins and currency! Come on, give me a break!

You may recall that Mr. Newdow was in court not too long ago over The Pledge of Allegiance to have the words "under God" removed. The case was dismissed by the U.S. Supreme Court. Now he wants to sue about our money. OK, we get it Michael, you are an atheist and don't believe in God - GET A LIFE!

The motto In God We Trust has been on U.S. coins since the days of the Civil War, and it first appeared on paper money in 1957. This country was founded by a nation of religious people and built upon their beliefs.

Michael Newdow has also started his own church, The First Amendment Church of True Science.

I think Mr. Newdow should find something else to devote his time to. Going up against God is not such a good choice, just read The Old Testament of the Bible for some examples of what kind of an opponent God is!

Your comments are welcome.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Thanksgiving - A Day To Give Thanks

Thanksgiving - A Day to Give Thanks

The fourth Thursday in November is Thanksgiving Day and the "Official" start of the Christmas Season. A day that most Americans spend with their families eating too much and watching football on TV. The day after Thanksgiving has become the biggest shopping day of the year!
Some people refer to Thanksgiving as "Turkey Day". Has Thanksgiving become just another over-commercialized holiday that has lost it's original meaning? I think so.

Most people think that when the Pilgrims sat down with the Native Americans to enjoy a big meal and give thanks that was the original Thanksgiving. However, Thanksgiving actually predates 1621. The Native Americans had been celebrating the harvest and giving thanks for thousands of years before the English came to settle here.

I think that we should remember that Thanksgiving Day is a day for giving thanks. How about starting a new tradition this year with your family while your are gathered at the dinner table. Let everyone take a moment to name one thing that they are thankful for. Be sure to include the children because they will tell it like it is and usually offer more sincere thanks than the adults!

Many people have special family traditions on Thanksgiving. Some large families draw names for Christmas and instead of buying gifts for everyone they just buy for the person they picked.

I am Italian and growing up we always had a huge family gathering at Grandma's house every Thanksgiving. Our tradition was simply this - eat until you burst! The meal would be an all day event. Of course we had a big anti pasta salad and ravioli or spaghetti and meatballs or both. Then to make the few non-Italian family members happy we would also have the traditional turkey dinner with sweet potatoes and vegtables. All this was followed by a plithera of deserts.

If you have a family tradition on Thanksgiving day please leave a comment and share it with us.


Sunday, November 13, 2005

Here a Shoe, There a Shoe, Everywhere a Shoe, Shoe

Here a Shoe, There a shoe, Everywhere a Shoe, Shoe

I was trying to find something in our closet the other day and it proved to be no easy task due to the mountain of shoes I had to dig through! I noticed that there were a total of five pairs of shoes in that mess that belonged to me. Black dress shoes, brown dress shoes, sneakers, work boots, and a pair of cowboy boots. I would hazard a guess that five is about the average amount of shoes in a man's closet.

The rest of the huge pile of shoes belongs to my wife. I lost count, but there are over a hundred pair of shoes in that closet. If you were to open the trunk of her car, you would find several more pairs of shoes in there as well.

The next day I went into work and asked all the women there how many pairs of shoes they owned. I was not surprised at their answers. Most of them had more than 100 pair of shoes! Why the need for so many shoes?

Of course when asked what would happen if they were to get a new dress, guess what...they would need to buy a new pair of shoes. Why is that necessary? There are already hundreds of shoes in every shape, style and color imaginable in the closet! Surely you could find something to match your new outfit without having to run to the shoe store!

How is it that men can survive with only a few pair of shoes yet women need hundreds? Please leave your comments and explain to me why women need so many shoes. Also tell me how many pairs of shoes you own.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Welcome Jinxy

Welcome Jinxy

I have a new tenant this week. Her name is Jin, her blog is worth a look. Jin's header says, Devil's Advocate. If you want to know about Jin or Jinxy, as she calls herself, just stop by her blog and read her profile. But don't expect to be there for just 30 seconds; because once you start reading, you will see that Jinxy is a very complex person. She says about herself, "I do what I think; say what I like; behave what I feel."

Make sure you click on all the highlighted links in her profile because that's where you will learn the details of what makes Jinxy the person she is. Very interesting reading, a GREAT blog...make sure you pay Jinxy a visit and leave her a comment saying you were sent there by cmmdtp at ramblings and rhetoric.

Welcome to my blog Jin.

If you have come here from somewhere other than Blog Explosion, be sure to visit BE if you want to EXPLODE YOUR TRAFFIC to your blog. We have many great features such as Rent Your Blog, Battle of the Blogs, and a Shout Box where you can chat with fellow bloggers and get to know them.

Friday, November 11, 2005

'T'was the Night Before Christmas

'T'was the Night Before Christmas

(My sister Barb sent me this today...perfect content for my blog. Thank you Barb, I love you.)

'T'was the night before Christmas and all through the town
Not a sign of Baby Jesus was anywhere to be found.

The people were all busy with Christmas time chores
Like decorating, and baking, and shopping in stores.

No one sang "Away in a manger, no crib for a bed".
Instead, they sang of Santa dressed-up in bright red.

Mama watched Martha Stewart, Papa drank beer from a tap.
As hour upon hour the presents they'd wrap
When what from the T.V.
did they suddenly hear?
'Cept an ad.. which told of a big sale at Sears.

So away to the mall they all flew like a flash...
Buying things on credit...
and others with cash!

And, as they made their way home from their trip to the mall,
Did they think about Jesus? Oh, no... not at all.

Their lives were so busy with their Christmas time things
No time to remember Christ Jesus, the King.

There were presents to wrap and cookies to bake.
How could they stop and remember who died for their sake?

To pray to the Savior...
they had no time to stop.
Because they needed more time to "Shop til they dropped!"

On Wal-mart! On K-mart!
On Target! On Penney's!
On Hallmark! On Zales!
A quick lunch at Denny's.
From the big stores downtown to the stores at the mall,
they would dash away, dash away, and visit them all!

And up on the roof, there arose such a clatter
As grandpa hung icicle lights up on his brand new step ladder.

He hung lights that would flash.
He hung lights that would twirl.
Yet, he never once prayed to Jesus...
Light of the World.

Christ's eyes... how they twinkle!
Christ's Spirit... how merry!
Christ's love... how enormous!
All our burdens... He'll carry!

So instead of being busy, overworked, and uptight
Let's put Christ back in Christmas and enjoy some good nights


Keep the Christ in Christmas

This year I have designed some t-shirts, sweatshirts, mugs, etc. displaying the Keep the Christ in Christmas logo.

Get yours today at my online store and wear it proudly.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Hug A Veteran Today

Hug A Veteran Today

November 11th is Veterans Day. If you know a Veteran show them some love today. The men and women who serve or have served our country deserve a big hug.

Veterans Day used to be called Armistice Day. World War I officially ended on June 28, 1919 when the Treaty of Versailles was signed. However, the actual fighting between the Allies and Germany ended on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918 when the armistice went into effect.

In 1926 Armistice Day became an official holiday and twelve years later November 11th became a National Holiday in the United States. In 1954 the name was changed to Veterans Day to honor all U.S. Veterans.

All throughout history we have fought in wars that may have been questionable. I did three tours of duty in Vietnam and many times I questioned why we were there, but I still did my duty, followed my orders, and served my country. It doesn't matter what your political views are or if you support the war in Iraq or not; what really matters is that young men and women are risking their lives for you and me as they serve their country. So put aside your politics and make sure you hug a Veteran today.

Keep Christ in Christmas

Keep Christ in Christmas

Every year about this time I get upset when I see the word XMAS. Let's remember that Jesus is the reason for the season!

Keep the Christ in Christmas

This year I have designed some t-shirts, sweatshirts, mugs, etc. displaying the Keep the Christ in Christmas logo.

Get yours today at my online store and wear it proudly.

They have taken prayer out of school and God out of the Pledge of Allegiance; let's not support XMAS. Whatever you do don't send out Christmas cards that say Merry XMAS. We need to stick together and keep the Christ in Christmas.

I wish you and your family a Christ filled Christmas.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Mini-Skirt Causes Wreck

Mini-Skirt Causes Wreck

Ahhhhhhhhhhh, you gotta love mini-skirts! It was forty-years ago and I was only sixteen. I had just received my driver's license the week before and my parents had let me borrow the car so I was cruising down Main Street enjoying the new experience of driving.

Then out of the corner of my eye I saw a lovely young lady in a really short mini-skirt walking down the sidewalk. Man, she looked really great and she knew how to strut her stuff! I turned my head again to get a better look and see what she looked like from the front.

I let my eyes linger just a split second too long, because when I turned my head back again to focus on my driving, all of the cars in front of me had stopped for a traffic light. CRASH - I plowed into the car immediatly in front of me and pushed it up into the next car! That car smashed into another one, etc. etc.

That mini-skirt had caused a five car accident! I was the car that started it all so needless to say my parents were not too pleased with me, and it was quite a while before they let me borrow their car again!

I took one last look at the girl in the mini-skirt and she gave me a big smile and waved at me. She knew what she had done! Ahhhhhhhhhhh, you gotta love mini-skirts!

Saddam Hussein's Trial Not Going Well

Saddam Hussein's Trial Not Going Well

Defense lawyer Adel Mohammed Abbas, was shot dead on Tuesday when gunmen opened fire on him and lawyer Tamer Hammud Hadi in Baghdad. Abbas is the second defense lawyer to be killed since this trial started in October. Another defense lawyer, Saadun Janabi, was abducted and found dead on October 21st.

You will recall that Hussein and his seven co-defendants are charged in this trial with ordering the killings and torture of more than 140 Iraqis in Dujail in 1982 following an attempt to assassinate Hussein when he was visiting the town. When the trial started Hussein was defiant right from the beginning! He refused to stand when asked and would not give his full name. Saddam Hussein said, "You know me, if you're an Iraqi, then you know."

The defense lawyers asked for more time to prepare their case and the trial was postponed. Now with the second murder of a defense lawyer the high profile trial is once again in the spotlight! One has to wonder if the trial can be held in Iraq in the midst of domestic turmoil and insurgency.

Khalil al-Dulaimi, one of Saddam's main lawyers, blamed the government for these attacks. He wants to move the trial to a neutral country and is asking for protection for all the lawyers. Abdel Haq Alani, another main lawyer of Hussein, says that President Bush is to blame for the turmoil in Iraq and the assassinations!

I would like to hear what you think about Saddam Hussein's trail, is it a fair trial or a mockery of justice? Please leave your comments.

Monday, November 07, 2005

A Young Doctor Returns Home From Iraq

A Young Doctor Returns Home From Iraq

If you have read my blog before, you know that I am a Bush fan and a Veteran who believes that sometimes war is necessary. I would like to take a moment to salute my young cousin Dr. Joseph McQuade, who recently returned home from a half-year tour of duty in Fallujah, Iraq. Good job cousin, glad you are home safe! Sorry this is a month late being posted!

Cousin Joseph would be a GREAT blogger, he faithfully sent e-mails every day to all of his family members detailing his experiences in Iraq. If you are reading this Joe and if you have the time, you should start a blog!

Dr. McQuade's homecoming was very special because not only did he get to see his wife, Cathy and two other children but he met his new daughter, Isabella for the first time! She was born while he was in Iraq and Joe got to see her for the first time when he returned home in September.

The McQuade's had a double celebration when Joseph returned, they had a homecoming and aBaptism for baby Isabella. Wish I could have been there to celebrate, but I could not make it. You can read an article from The Long Island Catholic Newspaper about Dr. McQuade on my website.
Read full article

A big THANK YOU to my cousin Dr. Joseph McQuade and to all the men and women who are doing their duty and serving our country far away from home!

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Three is the Charm

Three is the Charm

You may have heard the expression "Three is the charm" many times before; well, I'm here to tell you that it is a fact!

I am married to a wonderful lady named Christine, and we are both on our third marraige. Next month will be our thirteenth anniversary and I think we have finally got this whole marriage thing figured out. Do we ever fight? You bet we do, in fact we often get on each other's last nerve but that's okay. When all is said and done, we always make up and remain good friends through it all.

You may be wondering what is the secret. Well, here it is. This time around we are not trying to do it all alone. Right from the start, thirteen years ago, we invited Christ to be part of our marriage and He has been with us through thick and thin ever since! Both Christine and I are active in church and Bible study and our faith has helped us to grow closer to each other and toghether we have grown closer to God.

Yes three is the charm, not just because it is our third marraige, but also because instead of two in the marriage there are three! Let Jesus in, he will help!

Saturday, November 05, 2005

The Legend of Zorro

The Legend of Zorro

I just got home from the movies, "The Legend of Zorro." GREAT MOVIE, there is something there for everyone. Lots of action, swashbuckling and stunts; eye candy for the guys (Catherine Zeta Jones), and the gals (Antonio Banderas).

Critics are saying the movie is too long and boring. I did not find it boring at all. It was very entertaining with some really funny scenes. Of course I grew up with Zorro on TV so I am a big fan. You younger folks may remember Guy Williams from "Lost in Space", but long before that he played Zorro.

There are a couple of scene stealers in this movie, one of them is Adrian Alonso who plays Joaquin, the son of Don Alajandro and Elena. I see a spin-off in the future featuring this talented young actor. The other star of the movie is Zorro's horse, Diablo who offers some comic relief!

The stunts in the movie were fantastic and I really enjoyed it. Lots of sword fighting but no blood and guts, Zorro manages to knock out or knock down his adversaries instead of stabbing them. Rated PG, we brought our grandkids and they liked the movie too.

Please leave your comments.

Do Bloggers Have A Life?

Do Bloggers Have A Life?

It never ceases to amaze me that no matter what time of day or night it is I always see the same people in the shout box or battle of the blogs. Do Bloggers have a life?

Of course this must mean that I don't have a life either because I am on here day and night. I blog from home, I blog from work, sometimes I even blog in my dreams!

This whole blogging thing amazes me anyway. I mean there are blogs about anything you can imagine. Sex, drugs, and rock & roll; weather blogs, photo blogs, political blogs, gay blogs, recipe blogs, blogs about turtles, mommy blogs, daddy blogs, doggie blogs, kitty blogs, blogs about blogs, computer blogs, etc., etc., etc. The list goes on and on.

I have only been blogging for a short time, but I am totally addicted to blogging! I would like to see comments on how many hours a day everyone is spending blogging. Oh yeah...if you are really addicted to blogging be sure to check out my online store with blogging gear like t-shirts, ball caps, mouse pads, bumper stickers, coffee mugs, etc. Custom designs are done by Just Pure Mood.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

New Renter This Week

New Renter This Week

This week I have a new renter on my blog. Look in the left sidebar and in the Rent My Blog space you will see a link to The Pivot Point Post. The blog owner calls himself EzineWriter, and he offers a daily chuckle, games, funny pics, puzzles and much more. My favorite part of this blog is the resources he offers. Check out the Pivot Point, you will be glad that you did and maybe you will even crack a smile!

If you are not already a member of blog explosion and would like to EXPLODE your blog traffic, then click on the banner and check it out! I love it there. Great features like Rent My Blog, Battle of the Blogs, and much more!

When is a Yankee not a Yankee?

When is a Yankee not a Yankee? My wife and I have been living in North Carolina for 25 years. We are both from New England. I am from Connecticut and Christine is from New York State.

We still have not been accepted into "The Good Ole Boy Network", even though we say ya'll, eat grits and hush puppies, drive a pick-up truck, and know who Dale Ernhardt is.

Some folks around here call us Yankees, no... make that Damn Yankees. I am told that the difference between a Yankee and a Damn Yankee is the Damn Yankees are the ones who came down south and never went back home again!

We were born and raised in the north, but our home is here in the south.
I was always told that Home is were you hang your hat. Well our hats are hanging in Wendell, North Carolina and we are here to stay, so all ya'll better get over it! We are never going back up north again, except maybe for an occasional visit. (Frankly, it's just too cold up there in the north.) I guess our blood has thinned out from living here in North Carolina for so long.

Just curious if anyone knows how long it takes to no longer be considered a northerner and lose the label of Damn Yankee?

Please leave a comment

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Lost, lost, lost, lost, lost

Lost, lost, lost, lost, lost

That's right Lost is repeating. What's up with Lost? The new season just started and already they are showing repeats! This is the second week in a row of repeats! Why do they do that anyway? The season was just getting off to a great start and then they throw in repeats. Somebody please explain this to me. They have such awesome writers for this show, they can't be having writer's block already.

Could it be that November is Nielsen's Sweeps Month? The networks are no dummies...they start the season off with a bang to get you hooked on your favorite shows, then they hold the good stuff until the Sweeps start. Just what is Sweeps and how does it work?

The following is an excerpt from : The heart of the Nielsen Media Research national ratings service in the United States is an electronic measurement system called the Nielsen People Meter. These meters are placed in a sample of 5,100 households in the U.S., randomly selected and recruited by Nielsen Media Research. The People Meter is placed on each TV set in the sample household. The meter measures two things - what program or channel is being tuned and who is watching. The People Meter is used to collect audience estimates for broadcast and cable networks, nationally distributed syndicated programs and satellite distributors.

Which TV source (broadcast, cable, etc.) is being watched in the sample homes is continually recorded by one part of the meter which has been calibrated to identify which station, network or satellite is carried on each channel in the home. Channel changes are electronically monitored by the meter. Nielsen Media Research gathers and maintains a database of information about source and time of telecast for TV programs, and when this information is combined with source tuning data from our sample homes, we can credit audience to specific TV programs.

Who is watching is measured by another portion of the Nielsen People Meter which uses an electronic "box" at each TV set in the home and accompanying remote control units. Each family member in the sample household is assigned a personal viewing button (identified by name or symbol) on the People Meter. The Nielsen Media Research representative who recruits the household links the assigned button to the age and sex of each person in the household. Whenever the television set is turned on a red light flashes from time to time on the meter, reminding viewers to press their assigned button to indicate if they are watching television. Additional buttons on the meter enable guests in a sample home to report when they watch TV by entering their age and sex and pushing a visitor button. Click Here to find out more.

I just wish they would get going and bring back the new episodes of Lost. The anticipation is driving me crazy!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

NaNoWriMo is Here!

NaNoWriMo is Here!

I don't know how I am going to have time to blog, work eight-hours a day, commute back and forth to work two-hours a day, design websites for my clients, spend time with my wife and write 50,000 words for NaNoWriMo! AAAARRRGGGHHH!

For those of you who have no idea what I am talking about, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. Every year in November thousands of writers and wannabe writers drop everything and spend 30-days writing a novel. Their goal is to write 50,000 words in 30-days. In 1999 there were 21 participants and six winners. Last year that number increased to 42,000 participants and just shy of 6,000 winners. WOW, that's a lot of words being written!

I was really frustrated because up until last night, I had no idea what my novel was going to be about. I had no characters, no story line, nothing! Then when I woke up in the middle of the night, I had a brilliant idea. So today I sat down and started typing and I managed to get a pretty good start on my novel. I actually wrote over 4,000 words!

I'm pretty sure I can't keep up that pace, but at least I have a plan now. I will try to write a little each day and give it my best shot. If any of you are also participating in this CRAZY event, please comment, or better yet send me an email

Any veteran NaNoWriMo survivors out there with some words of wisdom for this rookie, I'd be glad to hear from you.

Good luck to all of you who are as crazy as me and are participating.