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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Exciting news for YOU!!!!....

*No, it isn't that my computer is back, safe and sound...yet....they still have it and I will find out more today. Keep those prayers coming in, folks!

So what is the NEWS...for YOU????

The Retirement Chronicles
would like to invite
YOU
(yes, you)
to
a
PHENOMENAL
FANTASTIC
FUN
AWESOME
Amateur Photography CONTEST!!!!





Starting January 1st, 2010, I will be hosting a MONTHLY-themed photography contest for my Followers that are amateur photographers on this blog! You don't have to be a blogger to enter (see below).

This should be fun and a way for all of us to learn from each other. Here is how it will work:

1. On the first of every month of 2010 (God willing), I will announce on the blog what the month's theme for the photo contest will be.

2. Who can enter?:
a. Any amateur photographer that is a Follower on my blog.
Not a Follower on my blog?
No problem, just click on "follow this blog" and begin following my blog and there, that rule is covered.
YOU do not have to have a blog to enter.
You DO have to follow MY blog to enter.

b. It will be an honor system that you are indeed an amateur.
That means that you don't regularly make income from your photography talents or earn your living doing photography.
If you occasionally get paid for a photo here and there or have won some other contests, that is still okay to enter these monthly contests.

c. It will be an honor system that YOU took the photo you are submitting for the contest.
Please do not enter your husband's photo, or your daughter's photo, etc. (Just have them join my blog as a Follower instead and enter it themselves!).

3. How do you enter?:
a. You will e-mail me directly with your ONE entry per month photo attached no later than the 15th of the month, by midnight EST. ( I will provide the email address on January 1st, along with January's theme).

b. Along with your photo, you must provide me your blog name, your real name and e-mail address to e-mail you back directly (in case you win).
Your e-mail address and your real name will not be given out on my blog (unless you want your real name to be used).
c. You must be or become a Follower of The Retirement Chronicles to submit your entry.

4. What happens next?:
I will post all photos entered to that month's theme contest on my blog sometime between the 16th to the 30th (or 31st) of each month for all of you to see.




5. How will the winner be chosen?:
I will choose three regular people on my personal e-mail list (different each time) (or I may show them in person all of the entered photos) who aren't professional photographers and who don't know who took what picture.
Those judges will look at ALL entries for that month and will independently vote on their favorite picture for that month.
The judges will change each month and it will always be a majority vote rules choice.
I will never be a judge in the contest.

6. What will the winner win?:
a. Sorry this won't be a cash winning contest. I wish it could be, and if I win the lotto, I may change this rule.

b.ONLY the winner will get the proud honor of being able to post a winning banner (like a blogger's award) of the month's win (which I will provide you via e-mail) on their blog's website. If you don't have a blog or aren't a blogger, then this won't mean much, but I will send you a certificate for your portfolio or resume if you are trying to develop one for your amateur photography skills.

c. EACH monthly winner will ALSO be entered in another contest!!! YES!!!
At the end of the year, all monthly winning photos will be judged and the WINNER OF THE YEAR gets another winning banner to post of the 2010's win on their blog's website. Again, if you aren't a blogger, this won't mean much, but I will send you a certificate for your portfolio or resume if you desire.

7. What else?:
As a courtesy, (and so that all of my readers interested in photography will learn and grow from these contests), I ask that the winning photographer of the month then send me a short narrative telling us what camera you used for the winning shot.
You can also include any camera settings you used, and/or any other details you want to share about your camera and/or the winning shot.
If you have a blog, you can tell us your blog address, etc. and it will be posted on my blog when your winning photo will be announced.
If you are a blogger, this may perhaps get more folks to stop by and see your blog too!

How FUN is this going to BE????

I CAN'T WAIT!!!

If you have any other questions on how this contest will work, please comment on this blogpost!!



Monday, December 28, 2009

Well there's bad news and there's......

More bad news!

So, it went down like this:

1. About three weeks ago, our computer starts getting slower and slower.

2. We buy an external hard drive so I can get my million pictures off the main computer and shift them to the external drive.
Because we are SO smart, like that.

3. I start to transfer photos off the main computer drive onto CD's, because I can't find the way to do this into individual files on the new external drive yet.
However, I did find out how to set the external drive to "sync" once a day, hopefully saving ALL our main computer's memory until I can learn how to do individual files on the external hard drive (because I am a dumb shit on learning new stuff like that and wanted to ask someone who knew more than me, which is basically anyone with a pulse).

4. About a week later, the main computer gets "locked up" whenever we ask it to do anything.
Being the smart ones about technology (NOT)...we look at our Compaq manual and it says if the computer needs cleaning to make it faster (our interpretation, I am sure not what they intended to mean),---no problem,---- just run their "simple" little program.
Which we do.
Which causes us to lose EVERYTHING on our computer's memory.


5. We bring the computer to the tech guru's shop and beg them to see if they can find our previous memory and all of my pictures, providing them with the new external drive that we had just purchased and sync'd once daily prior to our other huge mistake of running the Compaq program.
The Tech Guru smiles and secretly thinks we are pathetic.
Greeting us at the tech guru's shop door is a gigantic dog, 3/4 part wolf (the Tech Guru says), who looks friendly and wags his tail, but scares the beejeezus out of me.
Sure he wags his tail, but I am leery.

6. After sacrificing a virgin, doing several cult ceremonies around a hexagram and boiling up something with gnat's ears and bat wings, we call the techies back to find out the news two days later.
" Good news!", they tell us, they saved all the pictures in our new "F:/" file/ (external) drive!!.
And, he cheerfully adds: "I'll show you how to load your pictures right straight onto that external drive from now on, so that so you don't ever fill up and crash your main computer again."

7. "Yay!" we say. "Oh, thank goodness. Let's go pick it up!", we declare.
We go there.
It is extremely busy.
Mr. Techy tells me 1, 342 instructions on how to load my pictures directly onto the external drive within 30 seconds. I go to ask him to go over it again so I can write it down, and his phone rings, and my husband says, "don't bother him, honey. It looks simple enough!".
We write a hefty check, leave the shop, and all is happy for Christmas.
But before we leave the shop, the Tech Guru calls out to us as we are leaving: "Just call if you have any problems."
"Yay!", I declare, "now I will have a resource for all future problems!".

8. Christmas comes and goes and I have no time to download my treasured pictures yet.

9. The day after Christmas is spent reloading a zillion programs on the aforementioned crashed computer, including e-mail services, which takes approximately 2.3 hours talking to a foreign-accented, hardly understandable (but polite) techy over the phone.
At approximately 10 a.m., I go to unload my precious vacation photos so I can do a knock-your-socks-off blogpost for all of you.
I try the shop Tech Guru's step-by-step instructions, to the best of my recollection.
Yeah, right.
I get no where.
I try in my old programs to load the photos (not on the newly installed external drive).
Still no luck.

10. All morning, I try several different attempts to download my pictures to no avail.
Husband also informs me that our printer will no longer scan, by the way.
I try the next hour or ten trying to get that loaded, to no avail.
I even located the installment disk on both the camera and the printer/scanner and reload them. No luck.

11. I remember I can call the techy guru at the shop for help.
I call and get no answer.
They are closed on Saturday.
I am sad.
They are also closed on Sunday.
I get sadder.

12. I call the tech guru early on Monday morning.
He walks me through several things I already tried over the phone.
I try them again.
No luck.
"Funny!, he says...I am sure it is just a little glitch...if you can bring the printer and your camera and the computer in, I will fix it while you wait if you want!"

13. I hear angels sing and say several halleleuya's.
"Sure!", I say.
We are having a blizzard, but I am from the north...no problem...we will rev up the old four wheel drive and be there in about an hour (which is about how long it took us to drive there in the frickin' snowstorm).
We are again greeted at the door by the pony gigantic puppy, who now smiles at us and happily wags its tail.

14. We leave the computer, the external drive, the printer, the camera and several cords at the tech guru's shop....telling him we will be back in an hour, after we pick up a few groceries.
"Fine", he smiles..."I am sure we will have it up and running in no time!".

15. We practically skip to the car (except for that ice threatening to break my hip) and go off, holding hands, me dreaming of downloading pictures from sunny Florida when I get home later this afternoon.
It is now 1:45 pm.

16. We go shopping, buying a bottle of champagne, just to celebrate our hard fought victory over technology.
We picture ourselves pecking away at the keyboard, sipping our champagne with the fire burning as we snuggle together looking at the loaded pictures come up on the monitor.

17. We arrive back at the tech guru's shop at exactly 2:45 p.m.
The we-are-sure-this-time-that-the-dog-is-100-percent-wolf dog now runs up to us, bringing his squeak toy for us to play with him.
Evidently we have bonded with a wild animal by now.

18 "Oh!", the tech guru exclaims unabashedly.
"We aren't quite ready yet. Evidently the HP installment program for your scanner had a lot of extra stuff on it you really don't need, which used up WAY too much on your computer's main frame, and well, it is taking a dickens of a time to take it back off your computer. We called HP and we are going to their main on-line site to load only what you really need to get your scanner up and running, which is also taking a lot of time to load.
So, it will be a little while longer."

19. We sigh.

20. We sit in their (only) 2 chairs in their waiting room, which has no music, no television, and nothing but gruesome shelving with ugly wooden or sleek chrome keyboards and even uglier new computers. Oh, and a panting wolf-dog, who now likes to poke his nose in our netherlands.
We sit there for another hour and a half!!

21. We call the tech guru out from the back and ask him what is going on.
He says with a smirk smile, "I have never seen anything like this....it is just taking forever to download off and back on!"...do you still want to wait?"
By now the snow has accumulated outside another three inches.
I explain that we live approximately an hour away, and since we have all this time invested in it, we might as well wait another hour.
He says fine.
We look across the street and notice a restaurant.
Since neither of us have pee'd or eaten or drank anything for hours, we make a wise decision to go there.
We tell him, and he agrees.

22. We go to the restaurant, tired and hungry.
We do not order protein...we order coffee and a huge cinnamon roll to split (comfort food, of course!) and chow it down.
We bundle back up like eskimos and make our way against howling winds and snow to the computer shop, arriving covered in wet snow, with flushed faces and twinkling eyes in anticipation of grabbing our goods and making our way back home to sit by the glow of the computer screen full of our wonderful photos.

23. The dog now greets us at the door by a crouch shove and an immediate roll over on his back, offering up his wolf-belly for a good scratch down (since obviously we are now part of his wolf pack, having bonded through our many contacts).
Tech guru is buried back in the shop and doesn't even bother to re-greet us or update us.

24. After about twenty minutes he finally returns to the counter and says: " I don't know folks...we are open until 6pm and it is about 4:45 pm now.. we are close now...we are running the final check and it should be done soon.
My breath catches in my throat, thinking it just might be fixed!

25. We sit in those hard chairs until my ass screams for mercy.
At 6 p.m., I march up to the counter and knock loudly on it until he comes up again, and demand to know WTF is going on.
He says: "I think you better leave it here. It is getting slower and slower.
By the way, did you happen to notice this when you had it back from us?
Anyway, it looks more and more like you may have to purchase a new hard drive from us, folks. Can you call us tomorrow?
And by the way...if you need us to put it in, we gotta order it so it won't be in until Wednesday or so and then we need a day to put it in."
I swear to God, the dog then barks two sharp barks and sits at my feet.

26. So that I:
a. don't cry
or
b. Jump over the counter at the guy to rip his throat out and risk being mauled to death by wolf-dog:
my husband gently pulls my arm away from the counter and blurts out at the guy: "ok we'll call you tomorrow".

27. I remember that I have left my camera with them and ask them weakly (because by now my spirit is completely broken and I have gone from the first stages of grief (denial, followed by anger) straight into the third stage: bargaining (the if-only-I-had stage)).
He says sure and gives it to me.

28. We leave. We climb in the car in complete darkness now (Because it is 6:15pm in the frozen Siberia winter here) and drive home in the blinding snow, and slippery roads, in complete silence.

Oh boy, I can't WAIT until tomorrow.

And I bet the dog will have my slippers waiting for me when we get to the shop.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

More Dumb State Laws: Georgia

Yes.

It is time again for another installment of DUMB STATE LAWS, with MY COMMENTS in bold italics.

This time?

The GREAT state of GEORGIA:




Shall we begin, then?:

1. The term “sadomasochistic abuse” is defined so broadly, that it could possibly be applied to a person handcuffing another in a clown suit.
Now I know you will have this little scene in your mind forever. Let's repeat: you cannot handcuff another person in a clown suit lest you be charged for sadomasochistic abuse in Georgia. I don't know about you, but clown sexual fantasies has never been on my top ten list. Clowns are creepy. (especially ever since Stephen King's novel: "It" for me).

2. All sex toys are banned.
Georgia is just a no-fun state, now isn't it? Wonder how they enforce this law? Do they do a bedroom check at every house and every hotel? What if you fly into Georgia? Do they check your luggage at the airport like customs? Wonder what the sentence/fine is if they find them?
If any of you playful couples are planning on taking a vacation to Georgia, make sure you know this!

3. It is illegal to use profanity in front of a dead body which lies in a funeral home or in a coroners office.
I guess it wouldn't be appropriate to whisper to the guy next to you (while you are viewing the body): "Why, damn it, he looks like hell!" , then, would it?
They might arrest you right there on the spot.
No exclamations when you see the person died, like "Shit!" or "Well, sonofabitch!"
Or if you are at the Coroner's office trying to solve a murder, you can't exclaim: "you mean he was fu-king poisoned by his wife?"

Nope, not in Georgia.

4. Donkeys may not be kept in bathtubs.
Well, get your asses in the shower, then!

5. No one may carry an ice cream cone in their back pocket if it is Sunday.
That will be very inconvenient. Because EVERYBODY carries an ice cream cone in their back pocket, especially on Sunday. Its right up there with a cucumber in their pants, you know what I mean?
Honey, your pants are leaking!
No, dear...that is the illegal ice cream cone in my back pocket. I got it after church because I am a rabble rowser.

6. In Acworth: All citizens must own a rake.
Obviously, this is a very leafy area of Georgia.
They don't do census taking, they ring your doorbell and pronounce: "let me see your mandatory rake!". "And your baby's too!"

7. In Athens-Clarke County: If you want to read your favorite book in public to your friends, do it before 2:45 AM.
Vonceil, do you hear our neighbors readin' a book out on the veranda? It isn't after 2:45am is it, darlin'? Because if it is, I'm gonna call the Sheriff!"


8. and: It is illegal to sell two beers at once for a single price. For example, a bar can’t run a 2 Bud Lights for $5 special.
This is Georgia, folks. Back there in the hills, I hear you ken git two Bud lights for $2.50 a piece, but shoot, don't y'all sell them two for $5.00, 'cuz we hear that's eeeeee-legal!

9. Though being forced to close your business is bad enough, Athens-Clarke County forces one to obtain a license before holding a Going-Out-Of-Business sale.
Well, shoot. Then that means you probably gotta get a tax license to do your taxes too.

10. Also in Athens-Clarke County: Persons under the age of 16 may not play pinball after 11:00 PM.
But, they can still read their favorite book out loud in public to their friends from 11p to 2:45a, as long as they aren't buying two beers for $5.00.

11. Also: On Mondays, it is illegal for one to whistle very loud after 11:00 PM.
Ok, so let's get this straight (one more time). If its Monday,and they are under 16, they can whistle and play pinball up to 10:59pm at which time they can read their favorite book outloud to their friends up to 2:44am, and since no ages were mentioned yet about ages, they might be able to drink beer as long as they don't buy two for one money. Evidently if it is between Tuesday and Sunday, all bets are off and they can go ahead and whistle very loud any dang time. This is getting really confusing!

12. Also in Athens-Clarke County: You may not get drunk on “The Bus".
So you can just drive drunk then. Or call a taxi. That is, unless the Taxi driver is a bit tipsy.

13. Also in Athens-Clarke County, Georgia: Alabama slingshots may not be used in the city limits.
Because we all know that ALABAMA slingshots are much more deadly than Georgia-made slingshots. I guess they are ok to use in the city limits, then? What about those Ohio made ones?

14. In Atlanta: It is against the law to tie a giraffe to a telephone pole or street lamp.
I suppose you could put your showered Asses there, or just leave your giraffe loose. Its going to be hard to see them in traffic, though...unless you have a moon roof on your pickup.

15. Also in Atlanta: One man may not be on another man’s back.
Man I wish my last job (and boss) would have been in Atlanta. Because he was ALWAYS on everybody's back.

16. In Columbus: It is illegal to carve your initials on a tree, even if it is on your own property.
Now, that is downright un-romantic.
Evidently it is okay to carve cuss words, slogans or speeches on the trees though, just not our initials. Or maybe someone else's initials.

17. Also in Columbus: Cussing over the telephone is against the law.
Whoa...those jails are going to be realllllly full in Georgia,then.

18. Also in Columbus: No one may tease an idiot.
I don't know about you, but this one just made me laugh.
Read it out loud again, in a southern, Georgian accent.
Go ahead.
I'll wait.
There, it made you smile, didn't it?
(If you didn't smile, you must be an idiot).
Guess you can't tease their politicians then, right?

19. Also in Columbus: It is illegal to wear a hat in a movie theater.
Not even if you are cold.
And if you wear a hat in a Georgia movie theater, make sure and remember it against the law if they tease you by calling you an idiot. (see No. 18 above for further information).


20. Also in Columbus: To swim in any pond in the city, one must wear a ‘suitable bathing suit’.
I wonder what the definition of a "suitable" bathing suit is?
And wait...why would you swim in a city POND? I can see a lake or even a big river, but a city pond?
They must of had some skinny dippers up to no good in order to have to make this a law there?

21. Also in Columbus: Picnics are prohibited in graveyards.
Well, dang it Billy Bob, now whatcher goin' to do this comin' Saturday night?
Where are we gonna bring the girls on our dates? We can't swim in the city pond in our skivvies either~

22. Also in Columbus: No person may be buried under a sidewalk of a cemetery.
Alot of Georga citizens are going to be disappointed...they hoped to bury their first husbands/wives there so they could "walk all over" them for a change.

23. Also in Columbus: Bars may not hold a “Lady’s Night".
What? Say it isn't so!!! No special bargains on drinks for the ladies? How else are those men going to pick up women and take them to the graveyards for a hot picnic date?

24. Also in Columbus: The fine for waving a gun in public is higher than actually shooting it.
So, go ahead, shoot 'em up...no penalties for having a full-blown human arcade game in Georgia, no Siree...
Heeee Hawwww!

25 Also in Columbus: It is illegal for stores to sell corn flakes on Sunday.
I am dying of curiosity to see why they needed a law about this one!
Maybe a full blown breakfast of eggs, ham, toast, hashbrowns and grits is mandatory on Sundays there...no wimpy Corn Flakes allowed! Maybe they figured the carbs would make people dose off in church and the Preacher wouldn't have THAT!!

26. Also in Columbus: It is illegal to carry a chicken by it’s feet down Broadway on Sunday.
Just carry it by hanging on to its neck or go down Main Street instead of on Broadway. Somehow I want to sing the song "on Broadway" when I heard that law (because there must be a way to put chickens in the lyrics somewhere!?)

27. In Gainsville: Chicken must be eaten with the hands.
Hmm. No forks? Maybe that's why Kentucky fried chicken's logo is "finger lickin' good"? They must have been to Gainsville, Georgia to eat.

28. In Jonesboro: It is illegal to say “Oh, Boy.
Go ahead and swear though. They must be used to it..because Oh Boy is against the law. Go ahead and say WTF???? It is much better to hear.

29. In Kennesaw: Every head of household must own a gun.
So let me get this straight. In SOME parts of Georgia, every citizen must have a rake.....and in some parts of Georgia, every head of household must own a gun. Well, they better get better tool sheds to hold all the shit that is mandatory.
And if you noticed, they didn't say every household head must have bullets. Just the gun. And if you are in Georgia reading this, don't say "Oh Boy!" about this or my comments, either.

30. In Marietta: Though it is illegal to spit from a car or bus, citizens may spit from a truck.
Billy Bob, of course we are gonna spit from our trucks...how else are we goin' get rid of our chew?

31. In Quitman: It is illegal for a chicken to cross the road.
Of course it is, because they got sick of the joke: Why did the chicken cross the road?
And besides, if you gotta eat chickens with your hands, they don't want your hands to get all dirty from their little dusty feet. Especially on Broadway in Columbus, Georgia.

32. In Roswell: The flooring of adult bookstores and video stores must be nonabsorbant and smooth textured.
Think about this one for just a moment.
Now take a deep breath and say: EEEE-ew.

******************************************************************************************
That's it for the Georgia Dumb State Laws, folks!
Stay tuned for future installments of more dumb state laws coming up in my blog, near you!

And if you are from Georgia, don't worry...I will be just as brutal when it comes to making fun of my home state when we hit the dumb laws from Michigan. (I am doing them in alphabetical order, so it will be a little while before I get there.)

P.S. I got my computer back...YAY for me ! The good news is that it appears to have all my pictures saved. The bad news is that I tried to download all my Florida pictures on it today and it will not do it from my camera. (sigh). So I will call the gurus back on Monday to have them walk me through it. I tried to reload my camera's software and it will not let me download to it or Picasa.
So hang tight, those Florida pictures really were nice and I will be back to posting more photography as soon as I can for you. Hopefully some time in 2010!!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Make it Brief!!

(*Due to my photographs being on hold for a few days due to a computer crash, you will still be reading more of my silly stuff today instead.) Carry on.....

So, inquiring minds want to know.

I dug through some of my archived articles (that I have for occasions such as computer disasters) and lucky you, I found this lovely tidbit!:


* The British retailer Debenhams announced in September that it
would begin selling men's briefs whose opening is more accessible
from the left side, for left-handers who have been forced for
decades to manipulate a right-side opening. Previously, said a
Debenhams executive, "[L]eft-handed men have to reach much
further into their pants, performing a Z-shaped maneuver through
two 180-degree angles before achieving the result that right-handed
men perform with ease." [Reuters, 9-23-09]

******************************************************************************************




Well, isn't THAT special?

Men just might be inconvenienced by how they reach into their underwear if they are left-handed, so they are going to accommodate them.

Well, ladies, what do you say about that one?

1. What about women's bras? Could anything be MORE uncomfortable to put on? What about the nifty maneuver WE have to do, where we have to put the bra on backwards, clip the fasteners and then have to do the tornado twist to get it back around so the cups are facing front by which we are then forced to have to do a dive bomb to get "the girls" into the cups?
We risk back injury, cuts on our midriff flesh and whiplash.
Did anyone think of helping US out? (Oh sure, there are front clasp bras, but anyone with bigger than size A breasts knows that if we have an episode of enthusiastic clapping at a musical, (or Lord forbid, we have to reach up to our shoulder to scratch an itch) those babies can violently unclasp with a violent snap that can easily shoot your eye out in the process).



2. What about women's thongs? Could anything be more uncomfortable that THOSE? A little dental floss that you have to dig out to find? All because MEN like them on us and beg us to get them. Is THAT accommodating to us women?




3. What about SPANX??? Oh sure, they suck together your loose flesh into a well-toned sausage casing like the miracle from St. Bernadine, but bend over and your little muffin top makes them snap and roll down into tootsie rolls faster than a mousetrap. There is no gracious or sneaky way to grab the Tootsie-rolled-Spanx roll and slide them back up to your waist without someone noticing....(trust me on this one, I have tried it!).......nope, not too comfortable....




4. For those of you still out of it and wearing pantyhose, is there anything more uncomfortable than THOSE to wear?
First you gotta roll a nylon pantyhose leg up your arm without running them and into a tight balled up tube and try and place the same side foot into the balled up tube without hip displacement while bending down and having all the blood rush to your head.
Then?
You gotta wiggle and wiggle it half way up your leg and stop there while you stretch out the other leg of the pantyhose (with your opposite hand, mind you...AND while your other leg is still uncomfortably hanging in a half-dressed state!) and roll THAT into a similar tube and place your other leg into that tube, working it up THAT leg.
Then? (So glad you asked!):
You do the left-right-left-right wiggle dance (equal on both sides now, for God's sake, or you gotta start all over) until you reach your butt with the pantyhose. Then you gotta squeeze your butt into them and hope there is enough material to cover it along with your legs...all without ONE RUN in the nylons.
Of course, you may only be 4 feet, 11 inches tall and bought the "TALL" sized pantyhose. It doesn' t matter. The crouch will STILL be hanging somewhere between your hoo-hoo and your knees, forcing you to walk like Natasha in the Adams Family.
Umm...nope, not too comfortable.

6. Men LOVE garter belts and nylons. I mean it practically makes them drool giggle. Is there anything more uncomfortable than those??? Not to mention the maneuvers you gotta do to get THOSE babies on.
First, you wiggle until you pull the boa constrictor garter belt over your hips with the dangling-flaps-of-death metal garters hanging down from them.
Then, you have to lie flat on the bed, preferably "spread eagle", hoping and praying that you don't lie on top of the ice-cold metal hooks that are just waiting to hold those nylons and scar the back of your thighs with their lasting impression.
Then, raise up your right leg to the sky and throw the nylon like a lasoo over towards your toes, hoping you will catch it like a butterfly in a net. Oh, don't worry......after twenty or thirty times, you will be successful.
Now contortion yourself by reaching behind you and clasp the nylon you just lasoo'd onto the rear garter clasp on that same side, simultaneously stifling your screams of pain with the pillow on the bed next to your head as you do this.
Repeat with your other leg, (if you don't have the shakes by now from holding your other leg in the air that long or the terrible pain in your side from the last maneuver).
By now the front metal clasps of the garter belt (awaiting the front of the nylons' delivery so that they can clasp on too) have been flapping around as you lasoo'd your leg with the nylons and attached the back garters. The front garters have been flogging you to death and making marks on the FRONT of your thighs with each and every previous movement.
Now that you have been a successful contortionist in clasping all four garter clasps to your nylons, you have to ever-so-slowly slide your nyloned and gartered self to the edge of the bed...(which causes static electricity to your hair, by the way).
If not carefully maneuvered (like an Olympian), one of the garters will undoubtedly snap up with such force, that not only will it put your eye out, but the biting sting of the incident will make your eyes run like when they blow ice cold air in your eye for a glaucoma check.
So now---------- you bring your sexy-self out of the bedroom in all your glory-- with your mascara running, hair sticking in every direction from the static electricity, limping due to the welts on your back thighs and red streaks on the front thighs, holding your wrenched back that is going to make your Chiropractor very, very rich.
Yeah.
Super comfortable.




7. How about Stilettos? You gotta have ankles of STEEL to stay upright on them and with slippery floors, you gotta be an Olympic gold medalist to skate in them. Thought that was someone snapping their fingers to their I-pod?
Oh, no.
Those were your ankles making those little snapping sounds.
Another comfortable fashion for women.

So.
How about it ladies?
Should we make SURE that left-handed men get those new underwear?
We wouldn't want them inconvenienced by making them do that awful "Z -shaped maneuver", now, would we????

Monday, December 21, 2009

Don't Go There! ...(REPEAT POST FROM LAST YEAR)

Another blogger had a funny blogpost today about Holiday Newsletters...and well, it just called out to me to REPEAT my last year's Dec. 10th post called: "Don't Go There".....

So for those of you that haven't been reading my blog very long, and for those of you that have read my blog for a long time (who will forgive me for repeating the post), this is for you all. Enjoy!!
*****************************************************************************************

I am compelled to write this, because during this blessed time of year, the barrage of Christmas cards start arriving. I have held my tongue through the many years, but (like a bulimic) I simply have to purge advice at this time or I will burst.

I love my friends and relatives dearly. But, inevitably...I get Christmas cards that I cannot believe came from these very people that I cherish.

So, I have to share my list of the For-The-Love-of-God-don't-send-these-type-of-cards-out-anymore-to-me-or-anyone-else-for-that-matter with anyone reading this.

And, if you happen to be someone who sends out ANY of the cards below, please reconsider.

Seriously.

I am NOT kidding.

Trust me, your friends and relatives will be forever grateful.

Here is the list of the inappropriate cards to send:

1. I beg of you. Please do not dress Fluffy or Spot in some ridiculous pet outfit with satin, Santa Hats, Halloween costumes or reindeer horns and put them as the pictures on your Christmas cards. It is not only pathetic, but it may trigger several calls to the Humane Society. Perhaps you need to get pregnant or visit your kids/grandkids more? Please, do not force your poor pet into this humiliating act. It is the number one reason they needed to invent pet therapy.

2. When you are drawn towards those cards with ten pounds of glitter....don't go near the light!
You know the type I mean....the snow scenes with pine trees covered in snow, a little log cabin with smoke coming out of the chimney...or Santa flying across the sky with a trail of glitter behind him. Those. Because after the U.S. Post office bends it, staples it, crams it, shakes it and pulverizes it during mail processing, some poor bloke will open up your card and 5 pounds of loosened glitter will fall on their table, their carpeting on on that black velvet blazer they are running out the door to get to the office Christmas party with (now peppered with glitter).

3. Dirty Christmas Cards. Don't go there either. The ones with Santa sitting with some prostitute on his lap (him, with a sick expression on his face) that you open and it says: "Hope you have some Ho-Ho-Ho at Christmas, too". It may temporarily make someone chuckle....but you have to admit..... it is pretty far from the purpose of Christmas.

4. The Bragging Letter inside of all Christmas cards. C'Mon people. These are the most common and the WORST to send. The next time you are tempted to get some cutesy Christmas stationary for your computer and copy three thousand letters (that are identical) to stuff into your cards...well...just don't.
Your letter inevitably drones on about Suzy's straight A's that she got while studying abroad (while working for the Peace Corps at the same time alongside Mother Teresa)..and that you are so blessed to have just moved into your 25-room new mansion with your 4 car garage which you built to contain your husband's new corvette (which you surprised him with for Christmas).
What is your goal anyway? To make everyone who receives it feel like a schlump for not being as successful? Well, Merry Christmas.....it worked!

5. The Gloom-and-Doom Letter inside all Christmas Cards. C'Mon people (again!).
These are the second most common and also the worst to send. The next time you are tempted to get some cutesy Christmas stationary for your computer and copy three thousand letters (also identical) to stuff into your cards, too....well.................definitely don't.
Honestly...I have gotten some that I thought were jokes at first because they just couldn't possibly be for real.
Ones that read: "We send you holiday greetings to your family with love. We are trying our best to be happy because Uncle Ike got cancer and has three weeks to live and we lost our house in the flood right after my miscarriage. We hope that our son will get out of prison this time next year so that his child that we are raising for him will not miss his drug-addicted mother as much. Etc. Etc. Etc.
Well, doesn't that little pick-me-up make your Christmas a little more jolly?

6. The Worst Offender: The Have-You-Been-Saved-Yet cards
Let me apologize ahead of time if I am offending any of you with this one. However, if you get offended, you are probably exactly the person who needs to stop doing it. The rest of you reading this know exactly the ones I mean.
It starts out right away with "Jesus blesses you and your household. Have you claimed Him as your personal saviour yet?" Jesus has truely blessed us this year. George has joined the ministry and is in Africa ministering HIS word to those that need saving. Per Chapter 13, verse 7, Jesus said...etc.etc. etc.
I am sorry. But if anyone you send those to needs saving, this is the worst possible way to "save" or reach them.
When they get your card, they will immediately glaze over,think you are pathetic and throw the rest of the letter in the garbage without reading it any further.
It is the worst thing to do to try and "save" anyone (short of going door to door to evangelize with little newspapers about the Lord.) (Don't get me started on THAT, either).
Don't get me wrong...I am not the devil, I am not possessed. I believe in a Higher Power.
I just don't believe that you should aggessively pursue the personal mission to push religion on me, or anyone else.
That is invading everyone's personal space and privacy.
So, save your stamps, or better yet, send them to your other church members exclusively. It will make them feel superior to be the "only ones" that will make it to heaven.
It will make the rest of us have a much happier (and blessed) Christmas.

7. Cards with pictures of your kids going to the prom or wearing Cheerleader outfits.
Don't send 'em....because in reality, the guy that took your daughter to the prom that is in that photo may later be found to be a sex offender...and your daughter will HATE that photo of herself in ten years and never forgive you for sending out Christmas cards with it. Years from now, relatives will have that God-awful photo of her in a photo album and turn to each other and ask: "Who is this picture of, anyway?"
School pictures are okay to send to close relatives (but please put the child's name, age and date on the back.) I can't count the times I have gotten photos stuck inside a card and when we get them, I say: "Honey, who is this? I can't remember them having a son....I thought they only had two daughters."
"By the way, is this from one of your cousins? Or is it mine?"


I know what you're thinking....."What a Bah-humbug person!" "She's lucky someone cares enough to send a card".....

And you are right. Because some of the cards I get (like the ones listed above) have made for some of the best laughs in our house. Ever.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

And the WINNER IS>>>>>>!!!!



Remember when I promised that when I hit 200 or more Followers, I would put all the names in a hat and have my husband pick one of my Followers to get a prize????

Well, this is the time!!!

Because I am lazy, I didn't really physically put the names in a hat, but without telling my hubby the system of how anyone is listed, I just asked him to pick a number between 1 and 202 and randomly numbered people on the printout. Then he chose a number and HERE is who won!!!!:

Congratulations to:

Pearl from "Pearl...why you little.."
(who just happens to have 373 Followers of her own! If you haven't been to her blog, do so...she is hilarious!! One of my favorite reads!)

Congratulations, Pearl....I was jumping up and down from joy when he picked your name by number!

You have been picked out of my 202 Followers to win my THANKS FOR FOLLOWING MY BLOG prize!


And what did you win (you ask nervously!)????

Can we hear a DRUMROLL.....PLEASE??????

(Well, I hope I can come through with the prize I hoped to give, I will explain more in a minute)!


You have won:

one 8 X10 of ANY PHOTOGRAPH I have published on my blog thus far.



(There is just one catch...my computer crashed this week! It is in the shop as I type this and HOPEFULLY I will have the exact picture you choose to send to you!)

I have several saved on CD's and already have them available and he is (hopefully!) retrieving the rest of them from my external hard drive, so I can retrieve the one you choose. My computer is supposed to be back by next week.


So here is what you need to do to get your prize:

1. Answer my email and comment on this blogpost that you see that you have won.
2. Send me (jhaara@sbcglobal.net) your email address (if I didn't email you yet) and in your e-mail, send me your name and address to send the photo you want to.
3. Name the date and TITLE of my blogpost where you picked your picture from and describe the picture so I know which one it is you want.

*In the unlikely event that the person who won does NOT get back to me within the next week, I will REDRAW a name and let the runner-up know then.

Once again, thank you to each and every one of you for reading my blog, signing on as a Follower and for your wonderful comments.

I am hoping and praying that I get my computer back safe and sound and that the tech gurus were able to save all of the pictures in my computer's memory and external hard drive.....!

I can't wait to download my Florida vacation photos and do some blogposts of some more photos of all the wonderful things we saw for you. I am really missing posting my photography and am going into withdrawal symptoms!!

Please be patient with me and know that as SOON as I can, you will see more of my photography on the blog.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Travel Observations

My hubby and I travel well together.

We should....it has been 38+ years that we have gone places together. And happily. We love to travel together!

We like to eat light on the road.

We coordinate our bladder schedules.

We both like to listen to mellow rock or oldies radio stations while driving.

We both have just about the same heat/cold needs inside the car.

We are okay with the same types of hotels and wake-up schedules.

But it got me to thinking of things that always make me wonder about others on the road.

Like:

1. What is UP with the so-many-beanie-babies-in-the-back-window-of-the-car drivers? I have seen about 5 now. Mostly women drivers. Short women drivers. They pass us on the freeway (don't ask me how they can see behind them to do so)...and the back window must have 100+ scrunched up silly Beanie Babies and stuffed animals. Don't you wonder how long it has been since they were washed? My guess is that their families told them they could no longer have those ridiculous midget stuffed animals in the house anymore and so out of desperation, they put them in the back window of their cars. I always thought they were stupid and costly and wondered why someone would collect them. (anyone past 12 that is).
And now to KEEP them after all these years (forcing US to see them too, on the road) is a bit ridiculous. They need to wash them and send them to some third world country for poor kids for Christmas or something...

2. What is UP with the 4 a.m. hotel people? You know the ones! The ones that get up at 3:30 a.m.---take noisy showers, play their TV loud, yell at each other as they get dressed...go out and run their trucks and cars for a half hour beside your room....slam their outside doors about thirty times and then finally get on the road. At 4 A.M.!! Where are they going? And why so early???
Sometimes we check in to our hotel pretty early (6pm)..go out to eat,come back and the hotel parking lot is only 1/2 full....but by 4 a.m. the hotel is full and there must be 20 or so of them who get up at 4 a.m. and leave before we even saw them.
Do they transport illegal aliens or what? Why do they need to travel in complete darkness?

3. What is UP with the high heel wearers on the floor above you? Inevitably, we get a woman who checks in pretty late and walks around, clicking/stomping their high heels until about midnight and then again at 7 a.m.
Are they hookers?
Wonder if they ever heard of taking their shoes off?
Oh, and they always drag their suitcases along the entire length of the floor, too.
Several times.
At least we HOPE that is what they are dragging across the floor. (Shudder).

4. What is UP with the closed-lane-ahead lane chasers? You know the ones. There are signs for ten miles warning you that the road will narrow down to one lane ahead because of upcoming construction.
So, here they come.
The "special ones"....they don't think it means THEM, silly.
So they pass everyone at 100 mph, only to go wait up ahead where the road narrows into one lane with their blinker on, waiting for someone to let them in.
Because they think they are special.
I say we stand firm, people!!
Do NOT let them in.
They were rude to think that the signs pertained to everyone BUT them.
They did NOT follow the rules. Don't you DARE feel sorry for them and let them in now. You only enable their rudeness~ Stop letting them in!!!

5. What is UP with the mysterious "pods" on the many, many trucks traveling across the nation? The unmarked trucks, with tarps covering large, mis-shaped objects under the tarps?
Don't you ever wonder what is under those tarps?
I only have one thing to say about that: MEN IN BLACK and ALIENS.
That's all I am going to say.

6.Sorry ahead of time for any of my readers who smoke but: What is UP with the smokers who don't get that non-smokers really get sick from the smell?
A note to SMOKERS: First, YUCK.
Second: You are going to have leathery skin when you get older and people are going to want to play drums on your face.
Third: You are going to die of cancer of some sort. And soon.
Fourth: Okay, if you insist on sucking that gaseous stinking stick, please do NOT smoke it next to our open hotel windows. We loveeeeeee the fresh, tropical, humid air slowly moving our curtains and providing us with warm breezes...we do NOT enjoy the tunnel of fumes along with it coming into our room.
Can't you find another spot to slowly commit suicide....like wayyyyy on the far side of the parking lot by those scruffy bushes and where no other living being has to put up with it??? Thank you.
Oh, and P.S.: when they offer you a smoke free hotel room and ask you if you smoke, please do not lie. We come after you and we know you lied and that you have been there. Let the sneezing begin.

6. What is UP with the toilet paper holders in hotel rooms?
I swear, you need a secret code along with the nimble fingers of a concert pianist to be able to remove the empty roll and replace it with the new one.
Plus, good luck with getting loose the super-glued toilet paper first-sheet from the rest of the roll to begin to use it.
BTW. I have exercised my pointing finger so that it has muscles that Arnold S. would envy just so I can do a swoop-and-dig-into-the-roll to break the tissues about an inch deep. It is the only survival tip I can give you, short of using palm leaves when you need something after toileting.

7. What is UP with only giving two bathtowels in a hotel room?
Men aren't going to get this. But women KNOW that you need two towels for yourself and one for your hubby. Because we do that hang-down-your-wet-hair-and-wrap-it-up-in-a-towel-like-a-Sultan thing with ONE of the towels and of course we need the second one for our bodies.
We do NOT want to wrap our wet hair in the same towel that just cleaned our butts.
So, please hotel owners, provide three or four BATH towels in each room? (Those little hand towels don't cut it, they won't wrap around our fat heads!!)
************************************************************************************
I am still working on downloading my vacation photos to my computer. I am frustrated! But I WILL get them and I will post them as soon as I can. I may have to sell my house, its contents and maybe a grandchild or two to pay someone to help me, but I gotta fix the problem. Being a photographer and not being able to download pictures is the most horrible sentence EVER.

Guess I better ask Santa to help me????

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

201 Followers??? SERIOUSLY???!!! YAY!!



Before I went to Florida, I had close to 200 Followers. My Christmas wish was to make 200.

Well, Santa has been good to me early this year...as of today's date, I have 201!!

Thank you, thank you, thank you to each and every one of my 201 Followers!!!!

As promised, I have a special prize to give away to thank you.

Over the next week, I will be downloading my list of followers and putting your names in a hat and pulling out ONE name for a special prize. (I will have my husband do it so you know I didn't play favorites).

If I had my way, I would give every one of you a prize, but since I can't, this is the best thing I could think of to do.

I will post who won and what they won soon, so stay tuned!!!

P.S. I am having computer problems in that the computer is not letting me download the many photos I took while in Florida. I am working on it and hopefully will be able to post some of them for you in a few days!!! (Can you hear me swearing where you live?) I have been working on it for two days with NO luck!!!

My laptop also was giving me problems sending out emails for the last 2 weeks, and I finally fixed that myself today. It seems that the computer gremlins have decided to visit and give me grief! Wish me luck in solving the photo dilemma....!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Useless Facts and Trivia: Volume 16

Here are more "Useless Facts and Trivia" for you, along with MY COMMENTS in bold italics, of course!:





1. The original game of "Monopoly" was circular.

Similar to life, money goes in and goes right out! Makes sense, doesn't it? Interesting that they changed the shape later.






2. It costs more to buy a new car today in the United States than it cost Christopher Columbus to equip and undertake three voyages to and from the New World.


That is probably right. That is why the whole 37+ years we have been married, we have always bought used cars. Who wants to pay interest fees on discovering a whole new world?? Yikes!!




3. One-fourth of the world's population lives on less than $200 a year.

I bet none of them own cars. If they do, they are probably living in them. This is a sad statistic, isn't it? Think of it: ONE FOURTH of the world's people make LESS than $200 a year!! Remember that the next time you feel sorry that you can't buy that new pair of shoes until next payday.





4. Ninety million people survive on less than $75 a year.

That is even more shocking than #3 above, isn't it?





5. The sentence "the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" uses every letter in the English language.

I SEE you looking for the X-Y and Z...go ahead...sing the abc song...I'll wait.
There.
Are you done? See? They are all there!!









    6. The word racecar and kayak are the same whether they are read left to right or right to left.



    Again, I see that you checked both of those words to make sure. One of these days, you are going to trust me.





    7. Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia is the fear of long words.

    Boy, I can see why. Now I am kind of scared of them too. And here I thought it was supercalafragilisticexpealodocious from Mary Poppins. I better take a spoon full of sugar...




    8. Did you know you share your birthday with at least 9 million other people in the world.

    And you thought you were "special"!! ha


    Of course you share your birthday...there are only so many days in a year you know? But you are the only one with your name and address and mom and dad and dog and family, etc. And that DOES make you special!!







    9. The electric chair was invented by a dentist.



    I KNEW it!! Who else could have thought of a place where you sit and be tortured??? It makes perfect sense to me. In fact, it just might be the dentist that I had as a kid when my dad was in the Air Force...because I don't remember any novacaine, and I do remember begging for my life.




    10. All polar bears, despite being near the North Pole, are southpaws.

    You can tell, because when you are flying away from the North Pole, they are waving goodbye with their left hands and blowing kisses at you with their left hands too.







    11. "GO" is the shortest complete sentence in the English language.


    There you go again. Checking the dictionary. And here I thought it was FU.





    12.Americans eat an average of 18 acres of pizza every day.
    I am amazed it is not MORE acrege. No, come to think of it, that would be everybody's waistlines.
    ************************************************************************************
    Hope you enjoyed this week's Useless Facts and Trivia!
    P.S. By the time you are reading this, I am probably sleeping at home, just back from my Florida trip. (I had preposted the blogposts above before I left on my trip.)
    So the next few blogposts I will be posting will be in "real time" and will be photos from the trip...so get ready! Brew some strong coffee and get ready for me to get you caught up on all that happened while I was away!! I missed reading everyone's blogs in a timely fashion and leaving comments as often as I usually do on your blogs while I was away!!!

    Saturday, December 12, 2009

    And You Thought YOUR Job Was Bad!!!.....


    Ok.

    Those with weak stomachs, just go ahead and SKIP this blogpost.

    (Heck, I almost skipped it myself).

    But when I saw this article about some actual GROSS jobs...

    Well...

    you know ME.

    I just HAD to share them with YOU.

    So here is the article, of course with MY COMMENTS written in bold italics:



    BAD SCIENCE JOBS

    * "Anal-wart researcher" (visual inspection being the only way to
    detect anal cancer from the human papillomavirus) heads Popular
    Science magazine's second annual November list, in 2004, of the
    worst jobs in science.


    The "worst job in science"..an anal wart researcher.

    Wonder what they get paid?

    Wonder if their job is a pain in the a--?

    Wonder if they get demoted, what would be a worse job to be demoted TO?




    However, "worm parasitologist" can be just
    as challenging, especially for anyone studying the Dracunculus
    medinensis (which can settle in humans to a length of three feet
    and then must be removed carefully after its thousands of offspring
    burst through the skin).

    Why do I feel a sudden urge to go fishing?

    Why is my stomach suddenly feeling, umm.."active"???

    They didn't just say "thousands of offspring burst through

    the skin", DID they???



    Other contenders: "tampon squeezer" for
    the study of vaginal infections;


    (I think I just lost a few MEN Followers

    with THIS one!) Let's just move on,

    shall we?





    a Lyme-disease "tick attractor"
    (who must sing, to keep bears away, while trolling in the woods);
    and "monitors" at warm-climate landfills (where garbage has been
    reduced to steamy, liquid condensates). [Popular Science,
    November 2004]

    Why doees my skin feel creepy-crawley right now?
    ************************************************************************************

    All together now...let's say: EEEE-ewwwww!!!

    So, NOW....

    you aren't going to complain about YOUR job today, ARE you????

    Consider that an early Christmas present from me to you. Because I'm nice like that.

    You're welcome...

    Thursday, December 10, 2009

    Cedar Waxwings: Part TWO!

    As promised, here is Part Two of my two part series on
    the wonderful Cedar Waxwings that flew into our apple orchard.
    I was lucky that they flew into our front yard orchard, where the lighting was better than it was in the first set of pictures I posted.

    His colors show up so much nicer in the sun!:




    I love his head crest!:




    Here are three of them on the same branch, happily munching on apples:







    He looks so regal!:




    And he even looked the other way to give me his "other" profile!:






    They were having quite the buffet of apples!:






    They even eat upside down!:







    I caught the one on the right in flight!:

    They haven't been back since I caught them on camera that day, so I am really glad I was home when they stopped by to feast on the apple trees.


    P.S. A reminder that I pre-published this blogpost. As you read this today, I am actually in Florida visiting my daughter. I will be checking my comments as I can get WiFi at the hotel and will be trying to stop by your blogs now and then too. I will get caught up with your blogs that I don't get to read when I return. Thanks again for continuing to read my blog while I am enjoying some southern sun. I will be capturing some tropical scenes down there to post for you when I return.

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    About Me

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    I retired in June 2008 and started my blog in November 2008. I worked at several jobs as a Registered Nurse prior to retirement. I LOVE being retired! Blogging has offered me a whole new venue to start writing again and to share new hobbies such as gardening, birdwatching and sharing my nature photography. If you like my blog, PLEASE click on "follow this blog". Having a lot of followers reading my blog gives me incentive to continue to do photography and to continue to write. I also LOVE comments, so I encourage you to leave me a comment after you read my posts. Thanks everyone, for taking the time to read me!!

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