Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Comet Holmes' Coma Expands

Here's the Astronomy Picture of the Day picture and info about that comet I mentioned before. Of course, I forgot to go outside and look. I think it was cloudy, anyway. Did anyone else get to see it? I wonder if tomorrow night is too late?

izea.com: the future of payperpost is here

The ultimate PayPerPost Postie has the scoop on the next generation of PayPerPost. Don't miss this one!

Yup, that's why Colleen makes the big bucks. She knows everything. :P I'm looking forward to seeing how this all plays out. It just might be a wild ride.

read more | digg story

Does This Widget Work?

I saw this widget on Lady Banana, and thought it would be interesting to see it come up with some tags for my blog. I see that Diana has since taken it off her blog, but I think it was working on hers. Since I put the widget in my sidebar, it has just said that tags will be available soon. I guess their definition of soon and my definition of soon are really different.

I'm not completely giving up on this thing. I removed it from my sidebar, but I'm posting it here. Since I recently changed my blog to show the last 30 days of posts - however many that may be up to 999 - this widget will have 30 days to prove itself before it moves off the front page. I think I'm being rather generous.

Edit: (12/06/07) I have removed the stupid widget because it never did anything. I have visited other blogs where it did work, but nothing ever happened here.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

email test

Supposedly I can post to my blog via email. I have never tried it, so this is me - trying it just to see if it works.
Visit my blogs - more frequently updated than my email.
_________________________________________________
ETA: Publishing to your blog by email is really easy. Here's how you do it - go to your dashboard. Choose 'settings' for your blog, and then go to the 'email' tab. There you can set up your 'Mail-to-Blogger address' and decide whether you want to have your emails published immediately or saved as a draft so you can edit and add tags and such before actually publishing. Then, all you have to do is compose and send an email to that 'Mail-to-Blogger address' - and you are posting by email.

My Kids Need More Sleep

According to this story on GMA this morning, our kids are not getting enough sleep. Teens are supposed to get 8.5 - 9.5 hours of sleep a night. Yeah, try convincing my kids of that. Bed times are always a hassle. As they get older, they think they should be allowed to stay up later, and bed times keep getting later. Of course, that translates into the parents going to bed later, too, and I could really use some more sleep! Morning comes way too early.

The story said that 15 minutes of sleep lost a night can turn an A student into a B student. Really? That wouldn't be any incentive to Beth, since she doesn't seem to care about grades all that much - except that it will save her some money, considering that her dad said he'd pay her car insurance if she maintains a B average. Cory might appreciate getting more sleep, but he has a hard time sleeping while everyone else is still up and making noise.

Monday, October 29, 2007

These Binoculars Take Pictures

It's time for bed, and I just realized I was supposed to go out and look at the sky tonight. There's some comet that is suddenly a million times brighter than it was just yesterday - or something like that. They were saying on the news that it was visible to the naked eye, but it would be especially nice to look at with binoculars. Jeffrey doesn't have super great binoculars, but he does have some. We used to go out and look at the stars all the time when we were dating. He'd try to point out the stars and constellations to me. I never could actually see them, once he quit pointing, but it was still fun to look at the stars.

What I really needed was some of these digital binoculars. These integrated digital camera binoculars not only bring objects closer, they let you take digital pictures. I didn't know that was possible. Having a picture might help me remember what I'm looking at, even after Jeffrey stops pointing. These binoculars are so cool, and the prices aren't bad at all. Besides these digital camera binoculars, OpticsPlanet.com has a wide selection of high quality binoculars for all uses. They also offer free shipping on orders over $29.

Heads or Tails - Scary, Spooky Fun


Into the fog
Originally uploaded by raindog.
Barb at Skittles' Place has started a little meme called Heads or Tails. This week's theme is Spooky or Scary.

One of my favorite authors is Stephen King. I have a whole collection of his books. I haven't read all of his books, but I've read quite a few. In fact, I'm thinking that I should make a point of reading one real soon.

What I like about Stephen King is that he can take something that could never actually happen, and make it seem so real and so probable that you start thinking that it actually could happen. The stories that seem to scare other people, don't scare me so much - like Pet Sematary, for instance. Once I was reading that while Jeffrey was gone overnight on business. He mentioned it to someone, and they couldn't believe I was home alone at night reading that, and I wasn't all freaked out. I guess this same person had read the book and found it really, really scary. But take The Long Walk, now that really scared me. I think because it really could happen, and Stephen King made it feel like it was happening - to people I actually knew. I could not put that book down until I finished it, and, even after I finished it, I had dreams about it. Now, that's what I call scary.

Check out other Heads or Tails participants.

Darkyria - Love Different

Are you single and having trouble finding someone to share your interests? If your interests happen to be dark and metal music, horror, sci-fi, and fantasy, then Darkyria might be for you. Hey, I like sci-fi and fantasy! Oh wait - I'm not single. I'll have to send this link to my brother.

Darkyria is the darkest friendship and matching coven for people like him, and you. You can register for free, create a profile, upload pictures, and use their matchmaker engine, called Cupid Angel. Cupid Angel helps you find out about other Darkyria members before you contact them. If you see someone you like, you can 'send them a wink' to let them know you are interested. Then send email or log on to a free video chat.

Darkyria.com : Love Different - for those looking to explore the dark side of love.

State Competition at Whitewater

Marching Panthers on the fieldSpeaking of the band - they did really well at the State Competition last weekend. As you can see from the picture, it was a beautiful day. For those of you who were there last year, you know how much nice weather is appreciated!

I was planning to post the results and scores last week when I got them, but then I was hoping to do something with pictures first, which I haven't done yet. If I wait to put the pictures together like I want to, well, who knows how long that will be. So, results now and pictures later - one of these days.

Our band came in 4th! That is up from coming in 5th for the last two years, so that is good. And, they were only .55 points out of 3rd place. In percussion and visual presentation, they did rank 3rd, 4th in musical presentation, and auxiliary, well, that could have been better. Overall, the band did an outstanding job, and we're really proud of them. Their overall score was 65.45, which was even higher than the band director was hoping for. Go, Band!

Official results and recap

Police Gear

Like I mentioned before, the high school marching band program this year was music of the doors. The drum major dressed as Jim Morrison, 2nd drum major dressed as a police officer, and the pit crew dressed as security guards. I'm not sure where they got the clothes they used for the police uniform and security uniforms.

They might have been able to find some things at this new website for police gear - 511TacticalOutdoors.com. They have 5.11 Tactical Pants, 5.11 Tactical shirts, footwear, outerwear, and accessories. The 5.11 Tactical Series features superior products that enhance the safety, accuracy, speed and performance of law enforcement, military and firefighting professionals. Most orders ship in 24 hours, and shipping is free on orders over $50.

For the band, this 5.11 Tactical Packable Jacket (available preprinted with POLICE, SHERIFF or SECURITY on the front left chest and back) would have been nice - especially on those cold, rainy days and nights when the band had to perform.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

A Big Bag of Candy

Cory went out fund raising / begging for candy the other night. He came home with a big bag of candy and one item sold. That's better than nothing, I suppose. At least he planned ahead (because I suggested it) and had little slips of paper with the information and the website printed on them. For all the people who seemed interested or didn't have time to look - and for the people who wanted him to come back the next day, he could just hand them the slip of paper and tell them they can go online and shop at their convenience. I don't know if anyone will actually do it, but at least he gave them the option.

Tonight he went out begging for candy again, with a friend this time. I don't know why, but they schedule double trick or treat times around here - Thursday night was for the subdivision, and tonight was for the village. Why exactly they need two, I haven't yet figured out. Anyway, Cory went out and came back with another big bag of candy. I asked him if he sold anything, and he said that he didn't even try - since he only sold one thing on Thursday. He at least could have handed out the slips!

Speaking of the fundraiser, orders can be placed through November 5.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Web Content Writing Services

When I was in college, I got an A+ on my term paper. Of course, I can't prove that now. My room mate borrowed it when it was time to write her paper, so she could see how to do it. And she lost it. I never saw that paper again, and, of course, I didn't have another copy. I had to write that thing by hand and then type it up using a typewriter. At least it was electric, but there was no such thing as a computer file for backup.

Nowadays, students have computers and the Internet and so many more resources, making it easier to write papers. In fact, sometimes, they don't even have to write their own papers. I would hope this isn't an all the time thing, but sometimes life gets in the way, and there just isn't time to write a proper paper. Enter MasterPapers.com - they can do the writing for you. They not only do term papers, but essays and research papers, and also provide Web Content Writing Services. They guarantee 100% satisfaction, and 24/7 online customer service. All of their writers are competent and experienced professionals, who do their best to make sure your project expresses your message in the way you would have, if only you had the time.

I Should Be an Artist

Yeah, right. I couldn't help but laugh when I read this. Supposedly by choosing the image that most appeals to me, I can find out what I should be when I grow up. Since I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up, I thought it would be worth a try. Here are my results:



You Should Be an Artist



You are incredibly creative, spontaneous, and unique.

No one can guess what you're going to do next, but it's usually something amazing.

You can't deal with routine, rules, or structure. You're easily bored.

As long as you are able to innovate and break the rules, you are extremely successful.

You do best when you:

- Can work by yourself

- Can express your personality in your work

You would also be a good journalist or actor.



The only part in that whole thing that is right is that I do best when I can work by myself. Try it and see if it works for you.

Faucet Options

Yesterday my shower puff came apart. I've never had that happen before. I tried fixing it, but it fell apart in the shower again today. I will have to do a better job of fixing it this time.

What does that have to do with anything? Nothing really, except it got me thinking of showers and faucets and plumbing. Weird how my mind works. Anyway, when we had this house built, we really didn't get much of a choice on which faucets they put in. They sent us to a showroom somewhere, they let us choose between 3 or 4 choices, and that was it. I never really thought to question it at the time. That's just the way they did it. They installed all faucets from a certain Wisconsin based company. We live in Wisconsin. I guess that makes sense, but I haven't been extremely pleased with these faucets. For instance, my kitchen faucet has broken at least twice. The handle came right off and could not be fixed without a new piece. Yes, there's a lifetime warranty, but I still had to live without a working kitchen sink for an entire day or two, until the original installer could come and fix it.

One of these days we may decide to upgrade all the faucets and get something we actually like. Maybe a Delta faucet will be better than what we already have. I can browse the website at faucet.com and choose from way more than 3 or 4 choices.
I like this one: and this one: and this one: and, well, you get the idea. They have a large selection with many styles and finishes to choose from.
They also offer fast delivery, great prices, and the all-important free shipping. So, if my kitchen faucet dares to break again... I have options.

Friday's Feast #166

Appetizer
Name a great website you would recommend to others. I love Astronomy Picture of the Day, though I don't always remember to visit every day. That's why I added it to my friends page on LiveJournal.

Soup
On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 as highest), how often do you dream at night? Probably a 4.

Salad
Did you have a pet as a child? If so, what kind and what was its name? We had a dog named Mutt. He was just that, a mutt, but we loved him.

Main Course
If you had the chance to star in a commercial, what would you choose to advertise? It would have to be something I like and believe in, but I'm having a hard time figuring it out. Maybe comfortable exercise clothes, or digital cameras.

Dessert
What is your favorite kind of hard candy? Werther's Original


Friday's Feast is a meme of five questions cooked up by the chef each and every week. Enjoy! Be sure to check out other participants.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Free E-Cards

Jeffrey and I are so romantic. Instead of buying each other cards for our anniversary, sometimes we'll just shop the card section of the store together. When I find a card I like for him, I hand it to him. He reads it, and then I put it back. No need to actually buy the card. And he does the same for me. I'm ok with that. I'm not one of those mushy gushy romantic girls. I don't even like getting flowers - because they're just going to die anyway.

Besides just reading cards in the store, I like free e-cards, too. I think they are plenty romantic. And they're really good for those times when I don't get out anywhere to actually buy a card, and don't have time to actually get it in the mail. At e-romance, I can send fun and animated cards. they don't have to be all sentimental and gushy, but they're a great way to let someone know I'm thinking of them - and hopefully make them smile.

Since it's my friend Tammy's birthday, and I didn't know until right now, I think I'll go send her some Virtual Flowers. I bet she'll appreciate knowing I'm thinking of her.

Community Blogger Award

Holly at Mama Pajama gave me a Community Blogger award. This award celebrates people who reach out and make the blogger community a better one. Thank you, Holly! In the spirit of community, I pass this award on to the following people who truly make the blogger community a better one:

You all truly do make the blogging community a better one!



Where are the People I Used to Know?

I sign up for all kinds of things on the Internet. If it's out there, and it's free, then I will most likely sign up for it. That means I'm spread all over the Internet, and do you know how many people I went to school with or worked with in the past have found me? One. I think there was one, and, unfortunately, after we re-connected, we lost touch again. I have also looked for people I used to know - and haven't had much luck finding any of them. Where are these people? I realize we didn't have computers or the Internet back when we were in school, but everyone is online now. Shouldn't there be some kind of online presence? And I don't mean those classmates or school reunion sites that let you register and let people see your name, but don't let you contact anyone without paying a fee. That is no fun. I've tried getting around that and posting hints for people so they could find me if they really wanted to, but so far no luck.



Today I found this new people search site called Spock. When I searched for myself, I came up first on the list! Anyway, Spock searches for information on bio pages, social networks, news sites, blogs, directories ...pretty much every place imaginable on the internet, and then groups it all together. Then, Spock users can add to that information - add pictures, add tags, and add links - all to make it easier for people to find people. I love the idea that I don't have to search the entire Internet to find people I'm looking for, because it's not working for me. In just a few minutes on Spock, by searching for the town I grew up in and for people in my approximate age range, I found a guy I went to high school with and found out that he has a MySpace page. Unfortunately, he hasn't logged in since June of last year.

Still, I have high hopes for this site. Eventually I will connect with someone I used to know. They have to be out there somewhere.

Fund Raising and Free Candy

A couple years ago Cory went out with his fund raiser sheets and sold lots of things, at the same time all the kids in the neighborhood were out trick or treating. It worked really well. People who are at home and expecting people to show up at their door have their front lights turned on. So it's easy to tell who is there. A side benefit of asking them if they'll buy something is the free candy. He ended up selling quite a bit by doing it that way. After that, we never could get him motivated to go out and sell stuff. I guess not having the added benefit of candy just didn't make it worth it?

Finally tonight he's out selling again, for this fund raiser I posted about last night. He also printed out the web page and information so he can give that out to people who might not be ready to order and pay tonight. I'm interested to see how it all works out. He should be home pretty soon, because he's got a birthday party to go to. It's quite the busy week for him - a party last night, a party tonight, and then another birthday this weekend. It sounds like he's having fun.

Uptown Saturday Night

The last Saturday night of the month, which is this coming Saturday, October 27th, is Uptown Saturday Night in St. Augustine, Florida. What does that mean? The Uptown San Marco Shopping District remains open from 5-9pm. Parking and admission are free, and each participating shop features an open house with wine and refreshments. There is live music and an overall festive night time atmosphere. Yes, a party atmosphere with shopping. I don't know exactly why, but there is something special about a warm evening (I checked the forecast, and it's supposed to be in the 70's) all lit up and sparkling with lights. The last time we were in Florida, I even got excited about the mall. It was all outdoor, and they had strings of lights wrapped around the palm trees and music playing. I wasn't really all that interested in shopping. I just liked being there.

For the Uptown Saturday Night events in St. Augustine, the book stores bring in local authors for book readings and book signings. Now, that I would be interested in, and it would be so much fun to browse through the used book stores to see what we could find. At least Cory and I would be interested in the books. The other half of the family would have to find something else to do, since they're not so interested in books. With all of the Events in St. Augustine and other activities going on for Uptown Saturday Night, they would surely find something to do. I read something about train tours...

Next month's Uptown Saturday Night is November 24th.

No School

The kids are out of school today and tomorrow because of the State Teacher Convention. I'm not sure what the teachers do, and I know the kids don't care. They're just glad to be out of school. Of course, that means I have them home and have to figure out what to do with them. Cory has a couple birthday parties in the next few days, so he wants to go to Walmart to buy presents. I guess that means we're going to Walmart, at least for a little while. Like it's possible to go to Walmart just for a little while! Ever since we got the Super Walmart, I just cannot get out of there. The store is too big.

Also, sometime today or tomorrow, Beth needs to look for a new job. She got her hours cut way down at her job, and she's not making any money - just when she's got extra expenses like a speeding ticket. And she has to pay for her insurance (unless she surprises us and pulls out the B average) and will need to get the kitty fixed and declawed in December. Life's not cheap, is it?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Alpaca Yarn

I never learned to knit or crochet or do any of that crafty stuff, but Beth likes it. Luckily, she's had other women in her life who have been able to help her along. I bet if I send her the link for Alpaca Direct that she'll be able to find some Alpaca yarn she'd like. I just want to touch it. It's soft like cashmere and strong as wool, make that stronger than wool. The site offers free shipping and a 100% quality guarantee. They have a great selection of yarn, patterns, and accessories, and a brand new yarn estimator to help you figure out how much yarn you need for a particular project. Like I said, I don't knit, so I would have no idea, but they even have something for me - DVDs to help me learn.

Time for a Fund Raiser

Band Geek
Cory went on the band trip to Boston last year. It was a really good experience for him, but these trips are not cheap. We told him that, if he wants to go on any more band trips, he will have to raise the money. Maybe not all of it, but a good portion. If he wants to go, he needs to put forth the effort. Today, he came home with fund raiser information. This one is pretty cool, because people can order online and the order is shipped right to them. Cory sent an email out to all his friends, posted a bulletin on MySpace, and asked me to post this on my blog. Here's the email from Cory:
Hi! As most of you probably knowI am a Band Geek. Well, my band is traveling to St. Louis, Missouri this year, and I have to save up for it somehow! So here's the deal. Whatever I sell I get 40% of the profit put into my band account towards my trip. So I'd really appreciate if you would help me out. And all of the items are delivered right to you in 4-6 weeks! My goal is to make all the money needed for the trip, but that's a long shot, So please help me out!

All you have to do is go here and shop away.

If it doesn't already say:
PALMYRA-EAGLE HS/MS MUSIC- PALMYRA
You are supporting: Cory Hagen
then please fill in this info:
Seller: Cory Hagen
Seller ID: pae2977

Like I said before it is shipped right to you so you don't have to worry about living near me. The only catch is that you have to live in the United States for them to ship it to you so please only order if you live in the continental U.S. And please send this on to your friends. This will really help me!

Thank you for your support.
  • Prices include all delivery charges
  • All products come with 100% satisfaction guarantee
  • Place your order by November 5, 2007

Too Much Stuff

How do we manage to collect so much stuff? Besides the obvious - that we buy stuff and don't get rid of the stuff we already have. Luckily we have a basement, so we have room for all this stuff. But then again, maybe that's not so good because now we have no incentive to throw some of it away, or donate it to Goodwill or someone who can use it.

If we didn't have the basement, and we still didn't want to get rid of stuff, we'd have to find something like this wilmington nc self storage - Extra Attic. If you don't have enough room in your house for all the stuff, you can rent storage space there. They have a really handy storage guide to help figure out how much storage space you actually need and also some helpful tips on packing and preparing your items for storage. Extra Attic offers a secure, clean, and affordable solution to extra storage dilemmas. Plus - they have weathered all hurricanes without any leaks or water damage. After being in Florida following a hurricane, I've seen how important that can be!

We Didn't Think

Beth didn't get to give blood today after all. She called today from school to find out the name of the antibiotic she is taking. She's got a bladder infection and just got the prescription yesterday - and just started taking it this morning. Neither one of us thought about it interfering with her ability to give blood. She could have waited until this evening to start taking it. Maybe a bladder infection is bad, too?

This page gives some blood donation guidelines. We just didn't think to look it up or read it before. I also learned that only 6% of all people have my blood type, A-. Does that mean they need more of my type of blood or not?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Roller Coasters!

I love this view:

Jeffrey and I love Theme Parks, just for the roller coasters. We never go on anything that spins us in circles or waste our time on anything tame. Our kids must belong to someone else, because they don't like roller coasters. Well, actually, my dad never liked roller coasters, so I guess they're related to him. I think it would be so much fun to visit as many theme parks as possible and ride every roller coaster imaginable. Of course, we'd have to leave the kids at home.

The U.K.'s oldest theme park, Pleasure Beach in Blackpool, has some rides that I wouldn't mind trying. There's one called the Pepsi Max Big One - '235ft high and over one mile of twisting and turning at speeds of up to 87mph.' Unfortunately the video was a little choppy, so I didn't get a feel for the speed, but that doesn't stop me from wanting to try it in real life. They have quite a list of what they call Major Rides, and most of them look like fun, but I'm going to have to pass on Bling. It looks like too much spinning for me - that makes me feel sick. They also have a wooden roller coaster that World record roller coaster marathon rider Richard Rodriguez rode for an incredible three months non-stop, day and night! I'd be happy if I could just ride it 3 or 4, or 5 or 6, times in a row without waiting in line again. Do you think they'd let me do that?

They also have Family Rides at Pleasure Beach, but I didn't check them out. Like I said - we go for the roller coasters.

Blood Donor


128/365 bloodfest
Originally uploaded by obo-bobolina.
Beth is going to donate blood tomorrow. Her school is having a blood drive, and she actually signed up. Yes, I'm a little surprised. It's not something I would ever have expected her to do, but it's a good surprise. I like seeing her do something for someone else. We've tried so hard to get her to see the importance of helping others, but she usually just doesn't seem to get it.

Maybe she just saw it as an opportunity to get out of class, but I choose to believe that she wants to do something good.

Skin Health from the Inside

Gâc is a bright-red fruit that grows abundantly all over sub-tropical Asia. Recent research has shown that this fruit is rich in antioxidants. Women in Asia have known about the benefits of Gâc for many years. It is considered nature's gift to the women of Asia because of the way it nourishes the skin. The carotenoids in red Gâc function as protection of the plant against excess sunlight. In the same way, they can help protect the skin, boost the immune system, and assist the skin's cellular rejuvenation.

That's great for the women of Asia, but what about the rest of us? Even though we can't grow this amazing fruit in our backyards, we can still benefit from it. R.G. Skin Revitalizer is a daily dietary supplement made from the pure fruit oil extracted from the Gâc. The body is able to absorb the fat soluble nutrients better than if it was juice from the fruit. Apparently the nutrients must bind with fat molecules in order to be absorbed into the human digestive system. Other fruits may have antioxidants, but they are also mostly fat free, limiting the absorption of their nutrients.

Use of R.G. Skin Revitalizer complements topical skin care. It promotes good skin health from the inside out.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Mount Rainier Train


Mount Rainier Train
Originally uploaded by moliere1331.
HEADS: Train
A few years ago, we went for a train ride near the Dells. It was an old train, and the track went for a ways in one direction. Then the train stopped, and everyone was free to get out and watch while they unhooked the engine and moved it to the other end of the train and hooked it back up. Then we got the second half of our ride - right back the way we came on the same tracks. To quote the person who took this particular picture:
At Mount Rainier (Elbe, WA.) there is a steam engine train that runs for several miles along the mountain's foothills. It's kind of a lame ride, but the shots of the train were worth it.
- and we didn't even get a steam engine - because it was in for repairs or something. Actually,it was the people we were with that made it all worthwhile. I took some ok pictures, but they aren't on my computer any more, so, instead of searching to find the disk they are on, I just went searching Flickr for interesting pictures tagged with 'train' - and realized I could spend hours browsing.

Check out other Heads or Tails participants.

Art My Way


For my son, Cory - the musical and the artistic one in the family.

I just went to ArtMyWay.com and created this image. It was easy. They have several different categories to browse. Once you find the artwork you like, simply personalize it by adding your own words. Their artists have already figured out which font looks best and how many letters will fit in the space, so all you have to do is type it in and 'update the art' to see how it will look. Once you are happy with the way it looks, you can share it on your blog, email it to your friends, or even order framed prints that you can hang on the wall. I'm going to use this one to leave a comment over on Cory's MySpace page. I think he'll like it. Of course, since he's way more creative than I am, he'll probably be able to come up with some even better personalized artwork. Seriously, I'm looking forward to what he creates.

Creating an account on ArtMyWay.com is free. You can use their artwork or upload your own.

Homecoming Pics

Here's our tree the next morning - after Jeff and Cory collected all the free toilet paper:See, they only TP your house if you're popular - so cleaning it up was a bad thing - according to Beth. At least there was a little left, so no one would think Beth is unpopular. Jeffrey went out and cleaned it up Sunday afternoon, I think.

Tim, Beth and Kayla, dressed and ready for the dance:
Kayla came over in the afternoon, and the girls went over to a friend's house to get their hair done. Then they came back to get dressed here. Beth ended up wearing the dress she bought after all, but still, I'm thinking no more shopping for dresses without parental supervision - especially if she's spending our money instead of hers. While the girls were getting dressed, Tim showed up. Then, when the finally got ready, we took some pictures, and they headed over to pick up Kayla's date and then to her house for more pictures. They went out to a fancy dinner at Culver's and then to the dance. After the dance, Beth stayed over at Kayla's and then spent Sunday with her. They went to visit one of their friends in the hospital. He was driving too fast, lost control, and wrecked his car. You would think she would have learned something from that, but just a few days later, Beth was driving too fast and got a ticket. At least there was no wreck or injury involved, and hopefully she'll learn to be more careful and pay more attention.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Playing the Stock Market

It seems that the stock market is a good indicator of how the economy is doing. If the market goes up, everyone is happy. If the market goes down, people get worried. People can make lots of money, or they can lose lots of money - all based on what the stock market does. But what does that actually mean? And how does it actually work? If you're anything like me, you have no idea.

MyWallSt.net looks like a good way to learn a little more about that. You can sign up for a free account and start trading stocks from real companies, but with virtual money, using their trading simulator. It works with real stocks and real numbers from the real stock market. I think it sounds like an interesting educational tool - a way to learn how the stock market works without any risk to actual money. Traditional publications are often dated and the learning curve can be costly. Here's a way to get 'hands on' stock market experience without risking your own money.

MyWallSt.net doesn't just leave you to your own devices to figure out how the stock market works, either. It's a social networking site that allows you to find and add friends. I'm thinking that adding friends who seem to know a little bit more than I do about the stock market would be a big help for me and help me figure out how things work - how to pick stocks, when to buy, when to sell, all that stuff. If they're doing well with their stock picks in the trading simulator, hopefully they'll be willing to share some secrets or advice. I need all the help I can get! There's also a forum to join, to ask questions and get advice.

If you're interested in learning how the stock market works, you might want to check out MyWallSt.net to see if it might help you. They'll even give you a free hat for signing up and building a profile, and you could win some real money, too.

Friday, October 19, 2007

It's All about the Band

The jacket I ordered from the Band Boosters came in after all. So, now I have it in time for State Competition tomorrow. Of course, it's supposed to be sunny and near 70°, so I probably won't need it. That's ok. I'm not complaining, mind you. Last year was cold and rainy and mostly miserable. I'm looking forward to nice weather.

We have to be over to school by 9:00am, so I'm off to bed. In the meantime, enjoy this video of the band. Someone from the Milwaukee Journal came out and watched the band practice, and talked to some of the band members. We couldn't pick Cory out, but he's there somewhere. Before you start to wonder - no that is not how high school students usually dress. At least not all of them. This was during Homecoming week on "crazy day" - where they got as crazy as possible to demonstrate their school spirit.

More Pictures for More Buttons

I spent way too much time working on band pictures today. This past weekend I took pictures of several band members that I missed the first time. Not my fault - they weren't at practice when I took the other pictures. I think I'm still missing some band members, but I'm doing the best I can.

I finally got the pictures downloaded from the camera last night, and then I had to size them and get them ready for printing. This time I made the pictures circles instead of squares, so we'll see if that doesn't work better when I make the buttons tonight. I uploaded the pictures and ordered prints at Walgreens so Jeffrey can pick them up on the way home.

We've got State Competition tomorrow, and I don't really think we'll have a chance to get the buttons to many of the parents, but I still want them to be available. The Awards Concert is Monday night, so we definitely need them then, because most of the parents should be there.

I Need a New Style

I really need to get a haircut, but I keep putting it off - because I don't know what I want to do. I've been trying to grow my hair out some. For years I had it pretty short. I liked it short. It was usually easy to take care of. But, I have a husband who is the typical guy who likes long hair. And my kids think I should grow my hair, too. So, I try. I know there's more to it than just letting it grow. I really want some kind of style.

My problem is always that I can't find a picture of a hairstyle I might like. Or, if I find a picture, I can't really tell if it will look good on me or not. Today I played around with this online makeover tool at Makeover Solutions. They have a paid version, but I just signed up for the free one. I uploaded the one picture I am allowed with my free account - which I had to go take because I could not find one full face picture of me on my computer. Once the picture was uploaded, they took me through all kinds of steps to define my eyes, lips, and face shape. I had a really hard time with the eyeliner, because I never wear eyeliner and I really don't know where it is supposed to be. Yeah, I'm good.

Once I finally got my picture defined, I started playing with hairstyles, and that's when I noticed that several hairstyles are locked - so only paid members can try them on. Still, the free version has several I can 'try on', so maybe I'll find something I like. There are also quite a few options to 'try on' makeup, eyewear, and accessories. Again, only some of them are available with the free account.

Besides the makeover tool, this site also has hairstyle pictures to browse through. Wish me luck finding the perfect style for me, or at least one I can live with.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

I Was Planning That

Remember that Heads or Tails post Tuesday where I listed at least 10 of my email addresses, and I said I had been meaning to do that for a while. I was just searching 'bcmom' on Google - you know, because I have nothing better to do - and I found this post over on Just a Mom. Jaye asked everyone to explain their email, and I had forgotten that I did:
My first email address was an aol email. I wanted bcmom@aol, but someone else already had that. So I had to settle for bcmomtoo - like, I'm bcmom, too! Since then I have had all kinds of variations on the bcmom thing - bcmom, bcmom2, bcmomtoo, bcmomtwo. One of these days I am going to actually count all the email addresses I have - they are all over the place. I use different ones for different things.

Oh, the bcmom thing - it stands for Beth & Cory's mom. Sometimes people think I'm Canadian. I'm not.
So, at least since last month I've been meaning to count my email addresses. Anyone care to explain your email address? I'd like to hear it!

Guess Who Got her First Speeding Ticket?

I got a call this evening, from a county sheriff. She just wanted me to know that she had given my daughter a speeding citation. Beth was driving 60mph in a 45mph zone and got pulled over.

So now, on top of paying for gas and insurance, she's got a ticket to pay for. And her hours at work have been cut down this week.

What's interesting is that if the police talk to anyone under 18, they have to tell their parents. But those kids in Maine (and probably elsewhere) can get birth control, and no one has to tell their parents.

Looking at Some Jewelry

If you're like me, every time you walk by the jewelry counter or a jewelry store in the mall, you just have to stop and look at the diamond rings, or in my case, usually the ruby rings. You never know, I might find something I just have to have. Now, with the Internet, I don't even have to leave the comfort of my couch to look at jewelry. J.R. Dunn Jewelers is a leading online jewelry retailer offering some of the finest jewelry available. I think most of their stuff is out of my price range, but I certainly had fun browsing their Gifts for Women. I can dream, right? I found this heart necklace that reminds me of one I used to have - only mine wasn't real gold and has long since tarnished and passed out of my life.

Should I decide to buy it, I can be sure I got a good deal because J.R. Dunn offers a Price Promise that says:
JR Dunn wants to assure you of the best price possible. If you are able to find one of our "price promise items" at a lower price from an authorized jeweler, JR Dunn will match the price at 110% of the difference!
You know how I like getting the best deal possible, no matter what I am buying!

Why Do You Blog?

(sung to the tune of Who Do You Love?)

I was tagged by Tammy from Mom Knows Everything to participate in the meme about why we blog.

**Start Copy Here**

We have a voice;
We must be heard;
Therefore we blog;
Now spread the word!

This meme is based on a recent post that was conducted asking the question “Why do you Blog?” and the rewrite “Why do you Blog? - Reworked.” The purpose of this meme is to tell our tales by spreading the reasons that we blog to as many sites as possible. We get to explain ourselves, direct traffic to our site and highlight our most important, most representative or most relevant post in an SEO favorable format. This will be a positive experience for everyone who wants to get involved. This will enable you to create a short advertisement for your site that will be spread across the blogesphere; a growing directory of blogs.

This is an open meme. You do not have to be tagged to join in. All you have to do is follow the rules.

Please let me know when you have added your site by leaving a comment on “Complete List” with a link to your post. This will insure an up-to-date list, giving you even greater distribution. You then have the option of copying the growing list back to your site.

Rules:
  1. Create an inventive post title
  2. Write a brief introduction to the meme.
  3. Copy from “**Start Copy Here**” through “**End Copy Here**”
  4. Paste into your post
  5. At the end of the “*list*”, before “**End copy here**”, please add your name, site name (with link), a very brief description (2-3 sentences) of why you blog, and your most important, most representative, or most relevant post (with link.)
  6. Tag at least 5 others to participate.
  7. Leave a comment and a link to your post on “Complete List
*List*
  • My name is Mel and I am the Author of Attitude, the Ultimate Power, aka Monday Morning Power. I blog because I am passionate about happiness and living in the moment. I want to spread the concept that we are in control of our own lives and can choose how we act and react. My site is focused on the Pursuit, Capture, Care and Feeding of a Positive Mental Attitude. One of my most representative posts is “Happiness Vs. Human Nature.
  • I am Max and I offer weekly articles on MAX. Why do I blog? I do it because I want to share my thoughts with you guys. I present a new and interesting way of transmitting philosophical thoughts: funny, engaging and intriguing! My funniest, yet intriguing, post is "Don't you just love People?"
  • I am the Great and Powerful Baba Doodlius. My 100% factual blog The Thoughts and Sayings Of Baba Doodlius is intended to educate all of you curious readers about the Truth behind the Great Secrets of the Universe. I have the Truth! Can you handle the Truth? For a sample of my powers of enlightenment, read my Revelation of the terrible secret of Bigfoot, aka Don't get stepped on.
  • My name is Amelia and I am the Author of Amel's Realm. I blog because I need to voice everything in my world so that I won't explode. My site is all about thoughts, experiences, fears, problems, misadventures, hopes, and dreams of an introverted tropical girl in a foreign land (Finland). One of my most representative posts is On Trust and Relationship.
  • I am Geoff of Geoffandcarley.com and I blog for reasons as diverse and as fickle as my moods. Mostly I blog because I'm firmly convinced I've figured a few things out and that the world will benefit from my experience the same way I've benefited from others' experiences. One post that I feel captures my emotional involvement and my ire (but not my humor as much) is Decision time.
  • My name is Judy and I am the Author of ~~Sugar Queen's Dream~~. I blog because it's cheap therapy and I have something to say. I feel my most powerful post is called “The Myths of Smoking......
  • My name is Sindi and I have written a blog entitled Life is a roller coaster!. My blog is based on the ups and downs of everyday life. I started blogging because I was going through some hard times and I wanted to meet new people to talk to. I like to write and was hoping people might enjoy reading what I have to say. I think the most inspiring post I have written to date is We Effect So Many.
  • People call me the Midgetmanofsteel (although I’m neither a midget, nor made of steel). I am the sole author the blog Mental Poo: a mostly true and humorous account of things that have happened to me, are happening to me, or are just filling my head and taking up valuable space where images of women should be. You can get a sneak peek into my mess of a brain by reading “Raisins are People” – a true account of my son’s first field trip.
  • My name is Sandee and I have a blog called Comedy Plus. My blog is just for fun, and I started it to poke fun about everyday life. My reason for blogging is to have fun and meet new friends. I have done both beyond my wildest dreams. I have posted lots of jokes, but when ask what my favorite joke is, I always pick Anger Management.
  • My name is Lynda. I blog to as a way to expose my writings and to spread my knowledge on the subject of love. My primary blog (I have 15) is lynda's loft. My favorite piece would be I LOVE..... I have over 300 original poems and posts dealing with the wonderful and painful world of love. I love love!
  • My name Adrian, although most of you probably know me as the Mighty Genie King. I am the author First Time Dad. I started blogging as a way to document my growing up pains as my wife and I raise our daughter. I hope that one day my daughter will be able to look at this and get an idea what life was like "back then". Now I blog about everything but the main focus is still the same! One of my favorite posts is Goodnight Sweetheart! Hello Basil! Eh...Who's Basil...
  • Hello, my name is Ann and I'm the author of A Nice Place in the Sun. I blog because I care about people and want to make them happy. My site is focused on humorous, inspiring, and nostalgic posts about life, children, and memories. My most representative post, or the post where I'm most myself is "The Craziest Experience Of My Life."
  • We are a team of writers, and everyone calls us NAFA, so that would be our name. We are the proud authors of NAFASG©™ - United And Dedicated Behind You™. Blogging, to us, is a form of spreading useful information and sharing our knowledge to every part of the world in order to contribute to the betterment of our global community. The post that we feel would be representative of our blog and the global community at large is The Sociological Interaction.
  • Hola! This is Mariuca and I blog because writing is what makes me whole. I write about anything under the sun from life, love, friends to cats and work. I tend to write best when under pressure and my personal favourite post from Mariuca is Love in Disarray.
  • My name is Susan and I am the Owner of ~~Wake up America ~~, which is a political, right leaning blog. I blog because I believe we need more voices out there to separate fact from fiction, to support our troops and to high light the lack of ethics from journalists today. I feel my most powerful post is called "Are You Proud to be an American......"
  • "Here I am :-) My name is Mauro and I'm the author of 1 Million Love Messages ... maybe the biggest love challenge in the blogosphere. Why I blog ??? Because I believe that bloggers can make a difference in the world. That's my challenge! My favourite post it's (for sure) Adam Donkus & Lizzie's Love History."
  • Hi there World I am Aussie, the author of Little Aussie Cynic and I want to Breathe among others. I was recently asked:"Why Do you Blog?" this takes me back to the beginning... I started blogging in an attempt to get people thinking, using my cynical humour as a tool to make people laugh, think and at times get the blood pumping.... Each of my Blogs takes in a little peice of my varied personality but the one which discribes me best would have to be There is Always a Natural Way the latest edition to the Aussie Cynic Family...
  • I am Zubli Zainordin, in Total Happiness, I organize the Book Project blog and co-author Santa's Community Blog and Hall Of Fame Blog. I blog with the purpose of documenting about my self for my own reference, my future generations and friends who prefer to know me. I also share vital and valuable information entirely on total happiness. I believe in Santa Claus and I share the Spirit of Christmas within this Blog World. In addition I promote bloggers, their blogs, and invite them to share their blogging experiences, and together with Shinade, I review their blogs and award them with the Zubli and Shinade Recommended Read awards. Those who continuously show continuous blogging improvements shall be residence of the Hall Of Fame blog.
  • I'm Holly from Mama Pajama. I am a stay-at-home mom to my two year old son, Cameron. He is such a joy in our lives. I just stumbled across blogging after watching a television show. I wish I had found it sooner, as it has been so much fun meeting people all across the globe. It's my own place to share about my family, interests, likes, dislikes, etc. I love that I've found my own little circle of blog buddies that will read the stuff I have to say....as mundane or silly as it might be! LOL It's fun leaving others comments, and knowing that something I post or comment just might make someone smile that day. I'm already having a hard time turning off my computer at night, so I'm hoping to keep this blogging addiction under control. My favorite post so far is Lucky Girl.
  • I'm Kathleen of Invisible Keepsakes.Well, I blog because if I don't, I'll go mad and get very hard to live with. I need a tableau for my creative endeavours. I write poetry. That is to say, I am a poet. I'm not a great poet; nor am I a deep poet, but I love wordplay and creating images and entertaining people with my ideas and interpretations of events and news and random topics. I've written quite a lot of poems, some have even been published, but I think the one I would have you read is Bad Dawg #7 because I feel so strongly about it.
  • I am Beth or Skipper - whoever you are most comfortable with, and I author My Life Starts at Forty Two. I am really trying to turn my life and myself around - and become the best me that I can. It is not always easy with family, illness, etc, but I refuse to give up. This is my journal of journey. One of the best posts that I can use to describe me is The Decision.
  • I am Delirious the creator of Lifeonalimb. I always wished I could have my own little newspaper and write all of the columns myself. But since I probably wouldn't make enough money to pay for the paper to publish it, I decided to go the "free route" instead. I don't think this is my best post, but probably one that most people would enjoy; death-defying Stop in, check it out, leave a comment, then go get therapy.
  • I am Bridget from "And Miles To Go Before We Sleep" I am a stay at home mom of five young children, ages 1-12, three of which have special needs. Two of my boys are afflicted with Autism so it is a very busy household. I started bogging because our family moves around a lot and we ar very far away from our families and this was a great was to stay in touch with them. I met so many great people through blogging and I enjoyed it so much that I now feel like it's another job (one that I enjoy). My favorite post so far has to be The Old Tree In The Middle Of The Dry Desert.
  • My name is Winsome Gunning and I am an artist who started blogging about `The Creative Process’ and `The Power of Listening to Silence’ on Winsome Gunning Art Walk. From my own listening to silence came A New Green Earthmy personal voice for green change. About DioxinAbout Simple Ways and A Green Earth are also my voices for green change. On these two blogs I publish contemporary green news from around the world.I am the wily Blogolope, and I blog for fun and to get things off my chest and hopefully be funny.
  • I created Blogolope because I thought it would be fun, simple as that. Blogolope to Assist Santa, Elves if a funny post. is an example of the issues about which I have felt compelled to write.
  • Hi, My name is Janice Ng & I'm the miracle mum from "This is a miracle". I started to blog to document the foot steps of my 2 boys : Amos & Zachary. With this blog, they are able to look back what they have been through: their joy, excitement, laughter, fighting, crying, screaming... etc when they grow up. One of my favourite post is "The loving brothers" on how the 2 brothers showed they tenderly care through a piece of strawberry cake!!
  • My name is Stine, a Norwegian mother of 6, and I blog at Mother's Home!. I have recently created another blog/site, Mother's Got A Dot Com. Why? First, for my own enjoyment. I've gotten to "know" so many lovely people since I started, and blogging has become an addiction (Sound familiar?) Second, I'm continually amazed that I can actually earn a little extra doing what I enjoy so much... I also get to let out some steam sometimes, as in Stage Mums.
  • My name is Misty Dawn, and I blog from the middle of nowhere, at My Dogs Keep Me Sane. I began this blog at the advice of one of my best friends. It's purpose was to give me a place to talk about the frustrations of moving to another state and moving away from my family and friends. Now, it has become so much more than that. Blogging has become an addiction for me. I now use my blog to earn income; I have met so many fabulous friends; I share my writing and my photography; I share my stories, whether they be funny, serious, or sad; I can share my frustrations and my emotions without worrying about being judged for what I say... There are no words to encompass what blogging and the people of the blogosphere mean to me... and that is why I blog. My favorite post would have to be Rough Tough Farm Gang because it is a fun post that will make people smile. I'm not saying it is my best or most thought-out post, but it is my favorite.
  • My name is Tammy and I'm Mom Knows Everything. I don't pretend to know everything, but I tell my kids I do. I started blogging when a friend suggested it. I have found that not only is it a great way to relieve stress, but also a great way to feel better about myself. It gives me a sense of accomplishment. I think my favorite post would have to be My Dad And John Wayne. It may not be the best post or the one that got the most comments, but writing this post really helped me deal with the death of my father.
  • My name is Anna, and I blog at Beth & Cory's Mom and A Mind Forever Voyaging. I originally started blogging because our library was planning to start a blog, and I wanted to see which blogging site would work best - so I signed up for a few. First I just played around with the design. I'd post my thoughts on what was going on around the house or in the news occasionally, but I wasn't very consistent. Then I started reading other people's blogs and making friends, and it was so much fun that I started posting more! One of my more memorable posts is Oh, I am Good, because I stepped outside my comfort zone and personality type and actually let people know I messed up.

**End Copy Here**

I'm tagging:
Deb, Mom of 3 Girls
Vic Grace, Cariboo Ponderer
Jaye at Just a Mom
Barb at Skittles' Place
Rachel at Heart of Rachel


Middle School Birth Control

Students at King Middle School in PORTLAND, Maine will now be able to get birth control pills through their school health center. (Condoms have been available since 2000) This bothers me on several levels, not the least of which is that I think middle school kids are way too young to be having sex. We're talking about kids between 11 and 13 years old! It also bothers me that the parents don't have to be told if their kid gets birth control. Again, we're talking about kids between 11 and 13 years old here. If my kid was thinking about engaging in risky behavior, or actually doing so, and another adult knew about it, and didn't tell me, I would be extremely upset. It's like seeing someone fall overboard, throwing them a life jacket, continuing on your merry way, and not calling the Coast Guard.

Also, say we just go along with the whole premise that kids are going to do what they want, and they are having sex anyway, despite all the risks they have heard about, and despite the standards their parents have tried to instill in them. So, we want to be sure they are at least safe(r) and make sure condoms and birth control pills are available. I have the biggest problem with the birth control pills because I think the girls who take them will feel they are protected from getting pregnant, so they will be less concerned about using a condom every time, and will therefore be exposing themselves to STDs. Pregnancy is not the worst that can happen.

read more | digg story

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Massage me with Stones

The other day I mentioned that I woke up with a headache and ended up having to take something - Tylenol, which doesn't do anything for me. One of my blogging friends asked me if I'd ever considered massage therapy, since the headache was a symptom of something wrong in my body. No, I never considered massage therapy, but I imagine it would certainly feel good.

This hot stone massage would be nice. I never heard of it before, but I always like holding smooth stones. There's something about the way they feel in my hands. I bet they'd be great all over my body! Check out some excerpts from the Hot Stone Massage Therapy Video and see what you think:

If I get this award winning video, do you think I can convince my husband to watch it and learn to give me a massage like this - any time I want it? Wouldn't that be nice? I'll be happy to help him practice so he can get it right.

The Mysterious Jawbreaker Mystery

the wall
The Wall
Originally uploaded by bcmom.
(Post title courtesy of the Department of Redundancy Department)
The kids got out of school early, so Cory and I went shopping. It was nice having him along, even for something as mundane as buying groceries. The problem with taking Cory to the store is that he finds all kinds of things that he just has to have - things that I wouldn't ordinarily buy. At Pick 'n Save he found these chili lemon pistachios, so we got a few of those. Then he wanted Atomic Fireballs and some Jawbreakers. See, we have this amazing wall of bulk products to choose from. I like all the natural and organic grains and beans and cereals. Cory gravitates straight to the candy. I must admit that there was this one kind of ginger candy that I really liked, but they don't have it any more. Story of my life. If I like something, they will stop making it.

Anyway, here's the jawbreaker mystery. Cory took two jawbreakers out of the bin, typed the code number in, and placed one on the scale. The price came up $0.30. Then he put the other jawbreaker on the scale, along with the first one. Best guess, if one jawbreaker is $0.30, then two jawbreakers should be $0.60, right? Wrong! Two jawbreakers were $1.20. I wondered if maybe the 2nd jawbreaker was heavier than the first one, but it didn't matter which one he weighed first. The first one was always $0.30, and when the second one was added, the cost went up to $1.20. We never did figure out why this was happening, but we decided that he should weigh each one separately and print a label for each one, so we only had to pay $0.60 for the two instead of $1.20.

New Weight Loss Pill

I once heard someone say that the secret to weight loss is to eat less and exercise more. My first thought was, "Well, duh!" It seemed pretty obvious to me. Unfortunately, obesity is a nation-wide epidemic, so, either eating less and exercising more doesn't work for some people, or they just don't have the incentive, willpower or time to put it into practice. I know that Jeffrey has gained weight since we've been married, and, even though he likes to blame it on me and my cooking, it's really because he works behind a desk all day and doesn't get nearly enough physical activity. He can lose weight, because he did a few years ago when they had the diet club at work. It was a challenge to see who could lose the most weight, and he did it. He lost the most weight. Then, once that challenge was over, he gradually went back to his old habits.

There are people who have tried every diet known to man (or woman) and just can't seem to lose the weight or keep it off. The new weight loss pill Akavar 20 50 is supposed to let people eat all they want and still lose the weight. The pill blocks caloric intake and then pulls excess fat from the body. It's supposed to work for virtually anyone, and if it doesn't work, there's a money-back guarantee.

Back Ordered

It figures. The Band Boosters have been selling stuff - beads, shakers, pins, t-shirts, sweatshirts, jackets - at the last couple football games. We finally decided that we really have to have these really nice jackets, so we ordered them. We were hoping they would be available for this next weekend so we could wear them to the State competition. I just found out last night that they will probably be here by Friday, so they will be here for State. Except for the mediums - yeah, the size I ordered - those are on back order from the manufacturer.

Oh well, according to the weather, it's supposed to be sunny and nearly 70° on Saturday. I shouldn't need the jacket anyway. Cross your fingers and cross your toes that we really do have nice weather. It will make the day of marching and watching other bands march much more pleasant for our band - and the parents who accompany them.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Understanding Substance Abuse

Every day it seems we are seeing this celebrity or that one getting into trouble and going into rehab. Why is it that these people, who seem to have everything they could ever want, always seem to mess up their lives? Luckily, my kids don't really look up to these celebrities and think that all that partying, drinking, and drug use is cool. Does that mean we will never have to deal with issues like these? No, but I'm really hoping that we don't. I don't know how to deal with stuff like that.

What I do know is that there are resources if we ever have to find out about substance abuse self help. Meek Publishing is committed to helping families improve their lives. That's why they offer books that deal with drug abuse and alcohol abuse issues, and offer solutions and hope. The featured books (available as books, e-books, and audiobooks) are Beyond the Yellow Brick Road and Bumper Stickers by Bob Meehan. Here's the description of the book Beyond the Yellow Brick Road:
Beyond the Yellow Brick Road - E-Book

ISBN 978-0-9702327-4-8 (eBook Download)

The newly revised version of Bob Meehan's classic is NOW AVAILABLE as an eBook PDF download.

The books combines the easy-to-read style of a born counselor with the street-level insights of a man who knows where he came from -- and where teenagers might contemplate going. In clear and direct language he talks to parents about what their kids are thinking; what parents can do to help the family get through the most difficult times when a child is using, whether experimentally or regularly; and, most importantly, why their kids try drugs in the first place. Never accusatory in tone, but never allowing any of us -- parents or teens -- to forget our responsibilities to ourselves and our families, Beyond the Yellow Brick Road presents a hands-on approach to drug intervention and rehabilitation which parents will find a comprehensive resource for raising kids in a hard world.
The part that really interests me is learning why kids try drugs in the first place. I always have this feeling that if I can just understand why something is the way it is, then I can fix it. Not always true, but take a sneak peak and read the first chapter of the book at the Meek Publishing website. I did. It gives a good understanding of where Bob Meehan came from, and when he says, "If someone you love is on drugs, I am confident that my book will give you a deeper understanding of why he or she takes drugs, of how your own attitudes may have influenced your drug-abusing loved one, and what you can do to induce change in that person’s life," I believe him.

Heads or Tails - Ten Things



TAILS - List ten things staying within any category of your choosing.

I've been meaning to do this for a while. I have at least 10 email addresses:
  1. One with my ISP Earthlink
  2. One at Netscape.net
  3. Another one at Netscape.net
  4. One at Gmail
  5. Another one at Gmail
  6. One of those personalized aol email addresses where you get to pick your domain
  7. One at inbox.com - besides email, you get 5GB free file storage!
  8. One at myway.com - they don't give me enough storage, and it keeps filling up with spam, so I don't use that one much any more
  9. One at mail.com - I used that one for the longest time, but again, it filled up with spam, and they didn't give me enough storage.
  10. and, the one I use the most - my email at Yahoo! Unlimited storage! Quite a bit of spam, but they take care of it pretty well.
You didn't expect me to post my actual email addresses, did you? Mostly they are some variation of bcmom - unless they're not!

Check out other Heads or Tails participants.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Music Plus People and the fight against AIDS

My musical career will never take off. Anyone who knows me knows that I am extremely un-musical. (Is that a word?) That doesn't stop me from liking music of all kinds - currently 'the music of the doors' the marching band music for this year. I'd be hard pressed to pick one favorite kind of music. Or even seven or eight...
I just signed up with IndieMV - Music+People - a music video based social network. Mostly I wanted to check out their new video contest. The contest is helping to spread awareness about UNICEF's Unite for Children, Unite Against AIDS campaign. It looks like a fun contest, with a purpose. Contestants will be able to take audio files, video clips, and still images provided by the contest website, combine them with some of their own, and create their own 30-60 second video to show how they feel about HIV/AIDS affecting children around the world, and the hope that UNICEF provides. There are some nice prizes, and the top 3 videos will be played at the Unite Against AIDS Concert on November 28, 2007 in Montreal.

From what I can tell, this contest is open to Canadians, but I think anyone can vote, until November 15 when the contest closes. So join IndieMV, find some music and videos, connect with some people who like the same kinds of music, and vote for your favorite contest video.



Press Release:

IndieMV.com Launches and Partners With UNICEF for Upcoming, Star-Studded, 'Unite Against AIDS' Benefit Concert

Avril Lavigne, Sarah McLachlan and Others to Perform at UNICEF AIDS Benefit Concert as IndieMV Provides Music-Video Based Contests to Promote Awareness

NEW YORK & LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--IndieMV Media Group announced today the official launch of the Company's web site www.IndieMV.com and shared details about their recent partnership with UNICEF to provide music-video based contests surrounding the upcoming "Unite Against AIDS" benefit concert on November 28, 2007.

IndieMV.com, is a video-based website that has been designed to connect independent music artists, fans, and labels through social networking. The website is not only a video marketplace for musicians but also a social networking service for students, music lovers, and users that simply want to connect. Services to users are based around networking tools such as video blogging (or 'vlogging'), private web-cam messaging, photo sharing, as well as access to music videos, interviews, and much more. Services to musicians include digital distribution with revenue share on video downloads along with access to all user-based features.

IndieMV also offers users a new technology called 'Sliders'. Sliders are an advanced tagging system that allows users to easily search content on a more personalized level. It is a filtering system that each user can customize to their personal interests and preferences.

Concurrent with the website launch, the Company is also pleased to announce their new relationship with UNICEF surrounding music-video based contests that have been organized to help promote their upcoming "Unite Against AIDS" benefit concert in Montreal, Canada on November 28, 2007, as well as promote independent music while spreading awareness for the "Unite For Children, Unite Against AIDS" campaign. IndieMV will be hosting a music-video contest in conjunction with UNICEF. It has been designed to give youth the opportunity to share their impressions and thoughts on issues regarding AIDS and its effect on the world. UNICEF will provide audio tracks and visual footage, and IndieMV will provide the platform for uploading, viewing, and voting for the music videos. Over the next couple of months, the Company's campus development efforts will carry the UNICEF message and encourage thousands to support the campaign and to build their scene on IndieMV.com.

Confirmed feature performers already include headliner Avril Lavigne, Grammy Award winner Sarah McLachlan, Corneille, Marie-Mai, Angelique Kidjo, and DJ Dino Lenny, as well as the winner of the IndieMV "Unite" band contest. Net proceeds from the concert will benefit UNICEF's international 'Unite For Children, Unite Against AIDS' campaign, which is the largest ever mounted to bring the world's attention to the global impact of HIV and AIDS on children and young people. Please visit www.IndieMV.com for more details surrounding the contests and concert.

Band Moms Rule!

and Dads too. We're in the middle of marching band season, so that means band practice and football games, fundraisers and competitions. We have a small school and a small band, and any parent help is greatly appreciated. The first year Cory played in the marching band was his 8th grade year. We didn't realize how things worked, so we showed up at the football games and at the competitions. We watched the band, and we cheered. Jeffrey helped some with moving the equipment, and he videotaped some of the performances.

We didn't actually realize until the next year that parents were needed to help with uniforms and to chaperone the trips to the competitions. So, we signed up to help as much as we could. And again this year. While I realize that not all of the parents can help, it does seem that we have the same group of parents every time. I guess that's how it works in any organization, or at least that's the way it seems. I'm not complaining. I'm glad we can help. We really do enjoy it - except maybe the sitting on cold bleachers in the rain - and, since our kids aren't in any of the other activities or sports, we are able to concentrate on the band. Go, Band! They march in the State Championship competition this coming weekend. We'll be there to make sure they look their best and that all the equipment gets to there. I hope it's a nice day.

Venice Apartments

Jeffrey and I are saving and planning to go somewhere nice for our 25th anniversary. We haven't decided yet where we want to go, but it needs to be someplace nice. I was thinking of somewhere tropical with a beach, of course, but Jeffrey is thinking that they will have golf courses, too. That means he wants to leave me on the beach while he goes off and plays golf. Some anniversary trip, huh?

Today I was reading some information about Venice, because that's supposed to be a romantic place to visit, right? There are no cars, only boats, and plenty of water. Jeffrey likes boats. I like water. That should work. We can visit castles and bridges, and the islands of Murano, where the world famous mouth-blown glass is made. The more I read about the attractions Venice has to offer, the more I realize how much I don't know about this city. I didn't know they were famous for mouth-blown glass, but I'd love to be able to watch. I've always admired blown glass. I didn't know that there are over 2000 bridges in Venice, but considering all the water, that does make sense. And that the most famous bridge, the Rialto Bridge was built between 1588 and 1591. Seriously, nothing in this country is anywhere close to that old.

Before I start thinking that a trip to Venice is impossible or out of our reach, I need to spend some more time on this site called Holiday Velvet. They make it easy to find Venice apartments, Bed & Breakfasts, villas or hotels for reasonable prices. You can search for accommodations by location, price, rental type, or number of people. Of course, it's an anniversary trip. This trip is just for the two of us. A little apartment or a Bed & Breakfast ought to be just perfect. Then, once we find one we like, we can book it right on the site.