Monday, April 30, 2007

"The Sound of Silence" in honor of the Virginia Tech Massacre


Today across the Blogosphere a lot of people will be taking part in a "One Day Blog Silence in honor of the victims at Virginia Tech and as a symbol of support to all the victims of our world." A good number of blogs will remain quiet for this one day in a united show of respect to those who lost their loved ones. A good number of blogs will not remain quiet today but it should be noted that this is in no way out of disrespect for those who have died.

Whereas I always think that a moment of silence to reflect upon loss is an important as well as reverent thing to do, I'm not so sure that silencing all of the voices that make up the Blogosphere is such a good idea or will - ultimately - mean that much to all of the people who have lost loved ones in the form of family or friends. I'm sure that they will appreciate it but I think what they would appreciate even more is to hear a united voice from the people. Perhaps silence speaks volumes but more importantly - voices carry. They carry messages that we all need to pay attention to.

Sometimes it's more important for voices to be heard - voices of outrage, voices of change, voices of hope, voices that will try to make sure that this sort of senseless violence will never happen again. Whether you have chosen to show support for the 32 souls who lost their lives two weeks ago on a quiet college campus in Virginia by keeping silent or by speaking up, I stand with you in our resolve that the world can become a better place as long as people unite towards the same goal.

VT Badge

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Get out the vote!

I haven't really written much about the Blogger's Choice Awards since throwing that nifty little widget at the top of my blog (look up a bit, see that thing up there? no, no, the one above the Feedburner widget ... yeah, the one that says "This site was nominated ..." that's the one I'm talking about!).

I figure that with as many blogs as there are in the Blogosphere and with so many good ones being nominated for some sort of award (5,564 of them at the last count!) that my 'lil ole' blog has the proverbial snowball's chance in Hell of actually winning something; but while perusing the stats over at The Blogger's Choice Awards website I decided that even if I didn't actually win anything it would be really nice to at least be on page one of the leading blogs in my category of Best Blog Design if even for a few fleeting moments.

As it stands right now, I am the second one down from the top on the second page with 39 whole votes to my credit which puts me just 8 votes away from being on page one. Granted, it puts me way the heck behind the chick sitting on a pumpkin who is winning my category with 220 votes but still ... come on folks, 8 votes! There has got to be 8 votes out there somewhere that someone could throw my way, isn't there??

I don't have enough fingers to go around declaring "I'm Number #11!" so if you guys could somehow find it in your hearts to move me up to Number #9 I would be oh so grateful and could declare it to the world without having to take my shoes off.

And while you're over there, I'm sure you could find some other great blogs to vote for, too - just not for Best Blog Design as that kind of defeats the purpose of voting for mine!

Saturday, April 28, 2007

According to Google, Mouseski needs ...

I got this from Tisha who got it from Life with Cheryl who got it from ... uhm, I don't know who Cheryl got it from but it seemed like fun so I gave it a try!

Just go over to Google and type in your name followed by the word "needs" and see what the fist ten searches come up with. I figured that I would run myself as Mouseski rather than Linda because I thought it might be more interesting and, other than a race horse, I think I'm the only Mouseski out there!

So what does Mouseski need??

  1. Mouseski needs therapy. (Who told??)
  2. Mouseski needs artists (How about just a good painter so that I don't have to paint the bathroom myself?)
  3. Mouseski's brain needs more exercise. (Alas, it's not just my brain that needs exercise!)
  4. Mouseski needs to tell us more of her secrets. (No, no she doesn't!)
  5. Mouseski needs more people like this guy (Uhm, what guy? Is he cute? Is he single? Is he rich? Does he want to share?)
  6. Mouseski needs to cook meals that can be eaten while sitting at the dining room table (No argument there!)
  7. Mouseski needs to learn to more liberally apply sunblock (No arguing with this one, I burn something awful!)
  8. Mouseski needs to give Bob an answer sometime soon. (Ha! I already did, you Google people are behind the times!)
  9. Mouseski needs to improve again to win. (But I already won, see the above answer regarding Bob for verification!)
  10. Mouseski needs to call by Outpost-Earth. (Does this mean that I am out of this world?? Heehee!)
Go on over to Google and find out what you need - you might be surprised!

Friday, April 27, 2007

And the winner is ...

It seems that I finally have the winners in my personalized M&Ms polls - in a very round-about sort of way! When I wrote my post earlier today about the tie in the voting, I was under the impression that I had effectively closed the first poll and at that time it had 108 votes which had resulted in the second place tie. Hence the reason I posted the tie-breaker poll.

Well, either I am more technologically incompetent than I thought or the "close poll" button didn't work as people were still able to vote on the original poll which I am now officially closing at 129 votes whether more votes come in or not! So, based on the 129 votes in the first poll and the 20 votes in the second poll, I have tallied up the numbers and the winners are {{a drum roll, please!}} ... with 53 votes - Eat Me, You Fool and with 45 votes - Linda Rocks!

Too bad there weren't enough letters for Linda Has Rocks in Her Head! as that would have made this so much easier right from the get-go! A big thank you to everyone who cast their votes and for helping me to make up my mind. And for all of those who think that I rock - thank you even more, I am flattered that you think so! Now to get the results off to Bob before he gives all my M&Ms away ...

Verification of the results:

The first poll:

What should I put on my personalized M&Ms?
Answer 1...Linda Rocks! 27% (36 votes)
Answer 2...Eat Me, You Fool 40% (53 votes)
Answer 3...Dispatch Goddess 20% (27 votes)
Answer 4...Vitamins Anyone? 6% (8 votes)
Answer 5...I Cannot Decide! 7% (9 votes)
Total voters for this poll: 129

The second poll:

What is your vote to break the tie?
Answer 1...Linda Rocks! 45% (9 votes)
Answer 2...Dispatch Goddess 55% (11 votes)
Total voters for this poll: 20

We have a tie ...

Well, this is a rather unexpected circumstance in the poll for what sayings to put on my personalized M&Ms ... it seems that there is a tie for the second place answer!

With a total of 108 votes cast, "Eat Me, You Fool" was the clear winner with 53 votes. "Vitamins Anyone?" received 8 votes and "I Can't Decide" clocked 1 lonely vote which left "Linda Rocks!" and "Dispatch Goddess" tied at 25 votes apiece. Good grief ... this just gets more and more difficult as time goes on!

Not wanting to be the one to cast the tie-breaker vote (after all, I was the one who couldn't make up her mind in the first place!), I have decided to do one more round of polling which ends today at 5:00 p.m. PST. Hopefully there will be a clear-cut winner from this poll and I can finally get my choices sent off to Bob before he gives all of my M&Ms away*.

So, here we go again! {{Sigh}} I can't help but think that this would have been so much easier if I could have just made up my own mind!!

*This comment was left in response to my post on Wednesday guaranteeing Bob would give you your money back if you didn't have a good laugh or two when visiting his blog: "bobbarama said ..."Can't wait to hear what you've selected for your personalized M&Ms. Oh, hey, don't be putting out rumors I'm giving refunds to unhappy visitors. I think you misunderstood. What I'm doing is sending any unhappy readers handfuls of your M&Ms to appease them. You'd either better hope everyone's happy or get your order in quickly before you wind up with just a few of those puppies."

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Another Sticky Post & Your Chance to Vote (Scroll Down for New Stuff!)

Now that I have more or less recovered from my last episode of As the Back Aches, I figure it's about time to make a final decision about those personalized M&Ms that I won a very, very long time ago and still haven't done anything about! Thankfully Bob, from the side-splitting humor blog aptly named bobbarama, has been very understanding about my hesitancy to just throw any old thing on a prize of this magnitude and has been quite patient with me.

Awhile back I asked you the readers of this blog to throw out some suggestions as to what I should put on the M&Ms and from those I have taken what I think are the five best and put them in a poll below. Because I can get two different sayings on my M&Ms, I will take the top two vote-getters and send them off to Bob who waits patiently in California for me to make up my mind.

So once again, gentle readers, I toss it out to you to help with this most monumental of decisions and I am sure that you will help me to make the right decision! I will close the poll on Thursday of this week thereby giving everyone a chance to vote - repeatedly - for their favorite phrases!

Author's Note: A big thank you to Bob for having a classy poll-widget over on his site that I could get the link to as I was having a heck of a time finding one I liked!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Gummis and flowers and votes - oh my!

A couple of totally unrelated things for today's post ..

Remember awhile back when I told everyone about The Pisstakers blog? I mentioned that if you went over there and were one of the ten bloggers listed in the MyBlogLog community come Sunday morning when Ed logged on, you could win a mini-review for all the Blogosphere to see. I also mentioned that if you clicked on the link that I left for The Pisstakers that I might actually be able to win a pound of gummi bears if I were the top link-sender for the week. This ring a bell with anyone?

Well as it turned out, I didn't manage to send enough folks over to win the gummi bears after that post though I gave it a mighty try. Perhaps it's because some of you were a bit offended by the very name of the blog because you weren't familiar with British slang and didn't know that, across the pond, "taking the piss" means "making fun of" and not what you thought it might mean! I probably should have had my British blog-mate Claire at A Little Piece of Me set you all straight prior to that post!

Whatever the reason for my loss, the winner was Polli of Polliwog's Pond who had also won the gummi bears the previous week. I am sure that it was a much-deserved win and I didn't feel shortchanged at all but shortly after that, much to my surprise, I got an email from Ed telling me that Polli had very generously awarded her gummi bears to me! What a gal!! I guess Polli had had enough of her own cavities being pulled out by the little chewy fruit-flavored bears and felt that my dentist was in need of a little extra business!

Having gotten basically zippity-doo-da in the mail the past few days imagine my delight to come home today and find a pound of gummi bears waiting for me! I tell you, I could really get used to getting blogging prizes delivered to my doorstep! Thanks again to Polli and to Ed of The Pisstakers! Now go over there and take a look around - it's a great blog with some great stuff despite the slightly odd name!

Gummi bears
Now, on a completely unrelated topic ... we were treated to some absolutely, positively, glorious Spring days recently and at long last the flowers in my yard decided to make an appearance! I wanted to share some pictures of those along with a couple pictures of the beautiful hanging basket of petunias that was given to me for National Telecommunicators Week. What makes them even nicer is that purple is my favorite color!

And on a final note, tomorrow is the last day of voting for the two phrases that will go on my personalized M&Ms from bobbarama. One phrase is leading the pack by a sizable margin but second place is neck-and-neck in the voting so go on up to the Sticky Post and make sure I get the two best phrases possible for this once-in-a-lifetime prize! Well, it is to me anyway ... And when you're done voting, go on over to Bob's page and have yourself a good laugh or two - guaranteed or Bob will give you your money back (right, Bob? Bob? uh, Bob?)

Wordless Wednesday ~ Sending Up a Prayer


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Wordless Wednesday Participants
1. Beckie
2. maggie
3. FelineFrisky - Diane
4. Kristy
5. babytalkers
6. Bridget
7. karen (miscmum)
8. anyhow
9. Barbara
10. KC
11. Missy
12. Crazy Working Mom
13. Rav`N
14. Chris @ Real Horses
15. Amazing Gracie
16. incog & nito
17. jenn in holland
18. Jarid and Caydon\'s blog
19. Liza\'s Eyeview
20. maiylah
21. eph2810
22. Alison
23. mar
24. ingrid
25. letha
26. Shaz@UsDanes
27. The Meezer Gang
28. empress bee (of the high sea)
29. Patois
30. Toni
31. mags
32. Green Eyed Girl
33. Selena Kitt
34. Skittles
35. Amber\'s Crazy Bloggin\' Canuck
36. Comedy Plus
37. Janne
38. palmtreefanatic
39. yubby
40. It\'s A Blog Eat Blog World
41. amy
42. Autofocused
43. Mark Caldwell
44. SargeCharlie
45. Uncommon Notions

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Tagged for Linky Love Technorati Style!

I am so behind with things it seems!

I've got five interview questions from Jamie over at Duward Discussion to answer (look for those soon!) and I also got tagged by Callie over at Scrappin.........with life in this New Year of 2007 for some "Linky Love" (not to be confused with kinky love!) a few days ago. Having a mind like swiss cheese, I almost forgot about this (sorry, Callie!) but was reminded of it when I saw a similar post over at It's a Blog Eat Blog World.

Now, if I have read this right, I need to tag a couple other people with this and they need to be associated with Technorati so, to that end, I shall tag The Buzz Queen herself and Polli of Polliwog's Pond. I just hope I did this right and if not, I'm sorry!!!

******start copy here******

Here are the directions:

1. Write a short paragraph at the beginning of your post and link back to the blog that put you on the list in the paragraph. This isn't a suggestion; you need to break up the duplicate content. Someone took the time to add you so the least you can do is give them an extra link back.

2. Copy the list of originals below COMPLETELY and add it to your blog. If you would like a different keyword for your blog then change it when you do your post and it should pass to most blogs with that keyword.

3. Take the adds from the blog that added you and place all of them in the "Originals" list.Add at least 1 new blog that you KNOW is using the DO Follow plug-in to the list in the "MY ADDS" section (add no more than 5!). Let the people you've added know so that they can keep the list going.

My additions:

The Buzz Queen
Polliwog's Pond

The Originals:

Comedy Plus
Rocks in my Dryer
Scrappin.........with life in this New Year of 2007
My Crazy Life in Pictures
Wanders World
Squirrels Nest
The Life Of A School Bus Driver
Charmed and Dangerous
Finding Life's Enchantments
Mom is Nutz
Oh Mommy Dearest
Midlife Musings
Utterly Geek
Whatever I Feel Like
My Dandelion Patch
Geeky Speak
3 Day Mom
My Single Mom Life

Monday, April 23, 2007

What would you do if your numbers came up?

We here in New England were finally treated to a picture-perfect Spring weekend after what seemed like a very long "winter of our discontent". Last Monday we were lucky if it was 40 degrees with tons of rain and the wind blowing like a banshee - this Monday it was a gorgeous 80+ degrees with blue skies and gentle breezes. Absolutely beautiful weather and definitely welcome!

Even though I had to work yesterday, I got to enjoy some of the beautiful weather afterwards when I drove up to my mother's neck of the woods to pick Amanda up after her fantastic weekend in Boston. Because it was a beautiful Sunday afternoon, I rolled the windows down, opened the sunroof, and took the scenic route up to Canterbury while driving at a leisurely pace listening to some of my favorite music and just enjoying the countryside.

While driving I let my mind wander and found myself contemplating life if I ever won the lottery. Now granted, I don't play the lottery that often but when I do buy the occasional ticket, I like to fantasize a bit about what I would do if I were to check my ticket the day after the drawing and realize that I was no longer going to have to wonder how long I could go without having to actually buy groceries! I'm sure it's something we all do from time to time because even though it's been said that money can't buy happiness, I think it would be fun to find that out first-hand!

After paying off what bills I have, first on my list would be a house but I'm not sure what kind of house or even where I would want that house to be. The one thing I know for sure is that it would have to have a front porch with comfortable rocking chairs and an assortment of wind-chimes. It would also have to have a kitchen with all of the modern amenities and preferably a live-in cook! Other than that, I am open to suggestions and, if money were no object, it could be quite fun to go house-hunting. As I drove along yesterday I looked at all sorts of houses and picked out things I did and didn't like about them trying to imagine the "perfect" house.

Next on my list would be providing for my family and friends the things that I have always wanted to be able to do but have not had the financial where-with-all to do more than dream about. I think that good fortune should be spread around and if I had enough money to pay off a friend's mortgage, send them on their dream vacation, buy them that bass boat they've been drooling over, or help them with their own business those are things that I would love to be able to do just to see the smiles on their faces and for no other reason whatsoever.

After that - I don't know. I think I'd keep my job as I like it in spite of the stress and frustration but you can dang well bet your bottom dollar that I wouldn't be working any more overtime! Oh, and I would definitely go on a vacation - maybe a cruise as I hear so many wonderful things about them or perhaps I'd really splurge and take a ride on the Orient Express.

But, of course, those things are all just dreams within a dream and nice to think about during a Sunday afternoon drive. Reality being what it is, I only managed to match ONE number on the recent lottery drawing. Guess I'll just have to settle for being beautiful rather than rich!

What about you? If you won the lottery, what would be the first thing you'd do? Other than do a happy dance, that is? Quit your job? Travel? Build that dream house? Send some to me?

Sunday, April 22, 2007

"I love you, Travis Willingham!!"


See the guy with the red circle around him in the picture above? Yeah, I know, the picture quality isn't all that great but that guy - ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls - is none other than Travis Willingham, the voice actor for Roy Mustang of Full Metal Alchemist. He is also one of the main reasons that Nicole talked her into aunt into taking herself and Amanda to Anime Boston this past weekend.

Nicole, who is Amanda's BFF, is what you might call a major league fan of Full Metal Alchemist and Roy Mustang in particular. Travis Willingham, along with Colleen Clinkenbeard, Laura Bailey, Mike Farland, Troy Baker, Greg Ayres, and Luci Christian, were all part of a question and answer session called "Voice Actor Round-up" that Amanda and Nicole attended while at the convention. At the end of the session, Amanda dared Nicole to yell "I love you, Travis Willingham" and Nicole, normally a rather quiet and reserved young lady, wasted no time in completing the dare and yelling just that - rather loudly. Just goes to show you what happens when crazed fans meet the objects of their animated fantasies!

For several days I had blissful peace and quiet here in Connecticut, while Amanda, Nicole, and hundreds of others descended upon the Hynes Convention Center in Boston for the biggest anime conference in the Northeast. There were cosplayers, voice actors, industry guests, artists, and vendors galore who all came together to celebrate Japanese anime, video games, and movies. There was a masquerade where skits were performed, the Cherry Blossom Ball formal dance, and a rave with glowsticks. Were I a 14-year old fan of anime, I would have thought I had died and gone to heaven - which is apparently just how Amanda and Nicole felt.

For the uninformed, cosplaying is when "like-minded people gather to see others' costumes, show off their own elaborate handmade creations, take lots of pictures, and possibly participate in best costume contests." You can't have an anime convention without lots and lots of cosplayers and this convention had lots and lots and lots of them. Neither Amanda nor Nicole did any cosplaying of their own but they had their picture taken with some of their favorite "characters".

Both Amanda and Nicole are talking about going again next year and doing some cosplaying of their own, but I'm afraid that they're going to have to find someone else to take them as apparently it wasn't exactly what Nicole's aunt was expecting! Having been to a "Star Trek" convention in New York City a long, long time ago I had a pretty good idea what they were going to encounter and it seems that conventions have not changed much over the years from the sounds of it. As much as I have no desire to ever attend one of those kind of activities again, I might could be persuaded to spend a weekend in Boston ... Amanda has a year to work on me and I suggest she start now!

Cool Slideshows

Just as a footnote, members of the MCRmy (fans of My Chemical Romance) gathered at the convention to post flyers and stickers to promote their favorite band. For the even less informed, lead singer Gerard Way worked as a comic book illustrator prior to becoming a rock star (it's a small world, after all!)

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Saturday Photo Scavenger Hunt - "Steps"

This week TN Chick of the Saturday Photo Scavenger Hunt had us looking for steps and my initial thought was to go over to the local City Hall building here in Norwich and take a picture of the very nice steps leading up to its main entrance. Alas, "the best laid plans of mice and men are ofttimes led astray" - especially when your teenage daughter takes your digital camera to the Anime Convention in Boston!

Okay, then, a quick back up to Plan B had me looking through my archives to see what I could find! Luckily I had a picture that was taken last summer when Amanda, Jamie, my friend Paula, and I took the train to New York City for the day and spent a good part of it at the American Museum of Natural History (yep, that would be the place in "A Night at the Museum" with Ben Stiller).

If you've been a regular reader of my blog you can see that Amanda has changed quite a bit since this picture was taken - at least her hair sure has - and you can also see that she's just beyond thrilled to be standing on the steps at the front of the museum with her sister while Teddy Roosevelt forever rides off into the sunset in the background.

Inside the museum were more exhibits than one could possibly see in just one day and it would have been very easy to have spent even more time there than we did but I had to go flunk the audition test for "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" later that afternoon! Perhaps that's a story for another post sometime!

Of all that there was to see at the museum, one of the girls' favorite exhibits was the dinosaurs. Jamie absolutely loved all of the fossils and the picture below is of her favorite T-Rex. If you're ever in New York City and have the time, I would highly recommend a trip to the American Museum of Natural History - especially if you have kids!

Saturday Photo Scavenger Hunt Participants
1. jmb
2. Lulu
3. Lisa Renee
4. Angelo
5. Lazy Daisy
6. Gattina
7. Jose
8. srp
9. Stine
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32. Soccer Mom in Denial
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48. as
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53. Teena in Toronto
54. Bobbie
55. mslovely101
56. Rach

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Fun with Anime

Whilst doing some of my blog-rounds this evening, I came across an interesting post over at The Buzz Queen about a face transformer thingamajig so thought I would pop on over and give it a look-see. In a nutshell, you upload a photo, do a few quick adjustments, and then pick a transformation that you would like to see yourself as.

In honor of Amanda going to the long-awaited Anime Convention* in Boston this weekend with her good buddy Nicole, I decided it might be fun to transform our pictures into Manga cartoons as what better way to celebrate going to a convention that celebrates Japanese animation - most of which is Manga - than to turn oneself into a little piece of Japanese anime!

Manga Amanda

Manga Mom

I am not at all surprised that Amanda makes a much better looking Manga character than I do as the child practically lives and breathes Japanese animation as do so many of her friends but I must admit that I kind of like my eyes this way!

*the convention I have heard about non-stop since September!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

A Warning for All Women and The Men Who Love Them!

With any luck I will be able to write an honest-to-goodness post tomorrow night as my back is starting to finally come around but in the meantime I thought I would post another email that I got from my friend Julie in Texas. These are very strong words of warning to all women out there but it's probably good for the men to read also as when they wonder what happened to that sexy young woman they used to know, this explains it!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

You've heard about people who have been abducted and had their kidneys removed by black-market organ thieves. Well, this kind of cruel theft is happening with other body parts as well!

My thighs were stolen from me during the night a few years ago. I went to sleep and woke up with someone else's thighs. It was just that quick. The replacements had the texture of cooked oatmeal. Whose thighs were these and what happened to mine? I spent the entire summer looking for my thighs. Finally, hurt and angry, I resigned myself to living out my life in jeans. And then the thieves struck again.

My ass was next. I knew it was the same gang, because they took pains to match my new rear end to the thighs they had stuck me with earlier. But my new ass was attached at least three inches lower than my original! I realized I'd have to give up my jeans in favor of long skirts.

Two years ago I realized my arms had been switched. One morning I was fixing my hair and was horrified to see the flesh of my upper arms swing to and fro with the motion of the hairbrush. This was really getting scary - my body was being replaced one section at a time. What could they do to me next?

When my poor neck suddenly disappeared and was replaced with a turkey neck, I decided to tell my story. Women of the world, wake up and smell the coffee! Those "plastic" surgeons are using REAL replacement body parts stolen from you and me! The next time someone you know has something "lifted", look again - was it lifted from you?

THIS IS NOT A HOAX. This is happening to women everywhere every night. WARN YOUR FRIENDS!

P.S., Last year I thought someone had stolen my breasts. I was lying in bed and they were gone! But when I jumped out of bed, I was relieved to see that they had just been hiding in my armpits as I slept. Now I keep them hidden in my waistband.

Wordless Wednesday

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Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday Participants
1. This Eclectic Life
2. The Twinkies
3. karen (miscmum)
4. Melli
5. SargeCharlie
6. Donna
7. Joyful Days
8. Crazy Working Mom
9. empress bee (of the high sea)
10. Patois
11. madd
12. Tracy
13. Angel Mama ( Pearls of Wisdom)
14. Kuanyin
15. CKC
16. maiylah
17. Ingrid
18. jams o donnell
19. anyhow
20. Bobbie
21. Write From Karen
22. Brian
23. Amber\'s Crazy Bloggin\' Canuck
24. mags
25. Mama Duck
26. EaglesWings
27. Green Eyed Girl
28. Dixie
29. Selena Kitt
30. Dragonheart
31. Jarid and Caydon blog
32. The Bengal Brats
33. gil
34. amy
35. Comedy Plus
36. Shaz@UsDanes
37. Amazing Gracie
38. Blueapple880404
39. letha
40. mslovely101

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Monday, April 16, 2007

What are you having for breakfast?

I got this in an email today from Bulldog and in spite of my bad back, I found myself laughing so much I just had to pass it along. Thanks, Bucky, I really needed this today!!

A 6 year old and a 4 year old are upstairs in their bedroom.

"You know what?" says the 6 year old. "I think it's about time we started cussing."

The 4 year old nods his head in approval. The 6 year old continues, "When we go downstairs for breakfast, I'm gonna say something with 'hell' and you say something with 'ass.'" The 4 year old agrees with enthusiasm.

When their mother walks into the kitchen and asks the 6 year old what he wants for breakfast, he replies, "Aw, Hell, Mom, I guess I'll have some Cheerios."

WHACK! He flies out of his chair, tumbles across the kitchen floor, gets up, and runs upstairs crying his eyes out with his mother in hot pursuit, slapping his rear with every step. His mom locks him in his room and shouts, "You can just stay there until I let you out!"

She then comes back downstairs, looks at the 4 year old and asks with a stern voice, "And what do YOU want for breakfast, young man?"

"I don't know," he blubbers, "but you can bet your fat ass it won't be Cheerios!"

Sunday, April 15, 2007

It's a rainy Sunday and this is ...

Cancer by Amanda ... Just a quick post - yeah, me, quick, can you believe it? Amanda is off to Massachusetts to visit her cousins for a couple of days during her Spring vacation while I am laid up with back issues yet again. Memo to self - do not try to carry the laundry down to the basement again, that's what you have a teenager around the house for!

Speaking of said teenager, the above is one of her latest drawings. The lyrics in the background are from the song "Cancer" by - who else? - My Chemical Romance and the drawing of the patient was actually done in crayon rather than Amanda's usual medium of choice - Prismacolor markers. Now I could never draw like that with crayons!

Everyone have a great start to the new week - I'll be limping around waiting for my back to settle down - again!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Saturday Photo Scavenger Hunt - "Hobby"


Those of you who stopped by for Wordless Wednesday this week got to see a picture of a statute that was taken during the course of one of my hobbies. Though some may think it rather strange, I really enjoy exploring old cemeteries and looking at the stones of the people who are buried next to them.

In older Victorian cemeteries, a lot of the gravestones are true works of art and the craftsmanship is comparable to what you might find in a local museum. The difference is that these works of art weren't made just to be displayed in an art gallery but they were crafted to memorialize and commemorate a loved one, to celebrate and mark the final resting place of a person who may have once been just like you or I.

My favorite cemetery in Norwich is the Yantic Cemetery (located within view of the William W. Backus Hospital!) established in July of 1844. Though there are older cemeteries in Norwich, I like the gravestones in this one the best as they come in all shapes, sizes, and types of stone; some with columns, some with statutes, and some with vaults. The names on the stones in the Yantic Cemetery read like a who's who of Norwich and within the stone walls surrounding its 28+ acres lie a former governor of Connecticut, a good number of Civil War officers, and more people who have had roads named after them then you can find anywhere else in town!

For today's Scavenger Hunt I have posted 18 of my favorite pictures from the Yantic Cemetery taken at various times over the past couple of years. The slideshow offers a magnifier option if you'd like to see a part of any of the pictures a little closer, just slide your mouse over the picture to activate it. If you're interested in reading more about the Yantic Cemetery and seeing a few of the stranger pictures I've taken there, please check out my post from last August 26th, "Who Ya Gonna Call?".

Happy Saturday and Happy Hunting!

Cool Slideshows

Oh, and just as a side note - my favorite statute is the kneeling and green-formerly-copper cloaked woman who watches over the grave of Sarah Larned, wife of Charles Osgood. Hers is my most photographed grave in the cemetery.

Saturday Photo Scavenger Hunt Participants
1. Bobbie
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10. Zn
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Friday, April 13, 2007


I have had pretty much nothing to say for the past two days which makes it rather hard to write a post that anyone is going to find interesting to read - or that I am going to find interesting to write. As my friend Paula told me last night when we spoke on the phone, I was sounding rather "Eeyore-ish" and she is right, I was and I am. Believe it or not, I prefer not to inflict that "lost my tail again while there's a rain cloud hanging over my head" feeling on anyone else so I wasn't going to write anything BUT ...

I'd like you to read something written by someone else because it is moving, because it is heart-wrenching, and because it is something that a lot of us may have to go through sooner or later in this life - though not all in the same manner.

Please go read this post at Dayngrous Discourse and then come back here for the rest of the story ...


A short time after that posting, Dayngr let her mother go and I have no doubt that it was one of the hardest things that she ever had to do. I could barely read the post leading up to this event because of the tears in my eyes and the lump in my throat due to what I felt for this woman that I have never met but whom I have the utmost respect for.

I received an email from Dayngr in Las Vegas this morning and what she told me was:

"My mom expressed her wishes this morning first to her doctor, then to her nurse (in the doctor's presence) and to me. Her husband and I both had an opportunity to spend time with her and reassure her, comfort her, and let her know we supported her decision. We told her we loved her and that we would be ok so she could let go. She was extubated, given a morphine drip, and taken off her medications.

I wanted her to have dignity in death. When the time came, she closed her eyes and went to sleep. It was so peaceful and serene and calming and everything I wished for her and more.

Linda, when she passed the skies opened up here in sunny LV and the dark clouds rolled in and it poured rain. Unimaginable! All I could think was, we're not the only ones crying."

Certainly makes my problems and troubles seem so very, very small in significance. My heart goes out to this wonderful woman not only for her loss but for her bravery in facing a very painful decision to let her beloved mother go. If you get the chance, please drop Danygr a friendly word or two for it's at times like these that we need those words the most.

Thanks & Help! ~ A Sticky Post ~ Scroll Down For New Posts!


In honor of National Telecommunicators Week, I am going to leave this post at the top for the week just to show my appreciation and support for all of my fellow 911 call-takers and dispatchers out there. I am honored to be one of you!

I thank all of the visitors to my blog who have left comments and expressed thanks to me for my job as an Emergency Medical Dispatcher; I appreciate the kind words and encouragement! And I also want to thank all of my fellow bloggers who "paid it forward" and posted a message on their blogs about NTW. Thank you all so much!!

And now a request for help:

As mentioned in a previous post, I won a contest over at Bobbarama recently where the prize is my very own personalized M&Ms. I get to choose two colors and each candy can have two lines with up to eight characters per line. For the past few days, I have been wracking my brain as to what to put on the M&Ms as I believe this to be a once-in-a-lifetime prize and I don't want to end up with something totally lame.

To that end, I am asking you, my readers, for possible suggestions as to what to put on my M&Ms. And I might as well tell you right up front before your minds fall into the gutter that one of the rules states:
"1. Keep your messages fun and positive; refrain from using objectionable words and phrases. No obscenities ... we don't want to leave a bad taste in anyone's mouth."
Also forbidden are business names, product names, celebrity names, specific sports teams, major events, landmarks, or names of schools or institutions.

So - how about it folks? Any good ideas or suggestions? I need to give Bob an answer some time soon or the guy is going to think I don't want the M&Ms - which couldn't be further from the truth! But, by the same token, I don't want to take a special prize and make it ordinary.

So let's hear it from my regular commenters and you lurkers, too (and yes, you know who you are!) I will be anxiously awaiting your suggestions - and remember - be nice!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The "Real Moms" Meme

I was tagged a couple of days ago by Akelamalu of Everything and Nothing for the Real Mom meme and by now she probably figures I've totally blown her off! But nothing could be further from the truth! I just have been having trouble putting this one into words for some unknown reason. I've known a lot of great Moms - I have a great Mom - but as for being able to describe a "Real" Mom ... that's tough! But, okay, enough stalling ...

  1. A real mom lets you make your own mistakes without always telling you "I told you so!", well, most times anyway!
  2. A real mom understands when you want to switch from the flute to drums in band because there are no flute players in rock bands.
  3. A real mom buys you a CD of your favorite band to cheer you up when you're down about something that happened with your friends.
  4. A real mom will help bake a cake for the birthday of the lead singer of your favorite band even though she thinks it's kind of silly!
  5. A real mom will buy new inking pens every month because she knows you really need them and can't do your awesome art without them!
  6. A real mom likes your friends and makes them feel comfortable when they are over visiting, though she sometimes tells them embarrassing stuff about you, too.
  7. A real mom will give you socks in your Easter basket because she has gotten tired of you stealing hers all the time!
  8. A real mom will let you stay home sick two days in a row when you've got sort-of a nasty cold and not give you a hard time about it.
  9. A real mom watches music videos on FUSE or MTV with you and knows who the bands are!
  10. A real mom has some of your friends on her My Space page and leaves them funny comments.
A big thank you to Amanda for helping me with this one! And now I tag Kai, Callie, and Crazy Working Mom with this one ... good luck ladies!

Wordless Wednesday

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Wordless Wednesday Participants
1. Rav`N
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Monday, April 9, 2007

250 + 21,000 = Celebration!!


It's celebration time here at Are We There Yet?? as today I hit a milestone with - this - my 250th post. It didn't dawn on me until I went back and looked at my start date here that I realized that I chose to start this blog on what was my beloved grandfather's birthday - July the 25th. I've got to think that was a good sign as this blog has become more than I ever thought it would be.

Through this blog I have met some truly wonderful people; people I would have never met otherwise. I now have friends in England, Canada, Afghanistan, Michigan, Oregon, Pennsylvania, California, and Florida to name a few places as well as some new ones right here in my own backyard of Connecticut, too. These people are a wonderfully diverse group of personalities, beliefs, and lifestyles and they have become almost like family to me. My day is not complete without a visit to their own little part of the Blogosphere and it seems that almost every day, that list over on my sidebar grows longer with blogs that I love to visit.

In addition to this being a day of celebration for this being my 250th post, I also am proud to announce that as of today I have over ~ a drum roll please! ~ 21,000 page hits. Granted some of those are my own visits here but I certainly am not narcissistic enough to have generated all those hits on my own! To all of those people who have stopped by my blog for a visit I say "thank you" and to celebrate, here's a piece of cake for you to enjoy while you continue reading! And not to worry - it's carb, fat, and calorie free!

I couldn't exactly decide what I should do my 250th post on. What could possibly be interesting enough or witty enough or deep enough to write about for #250? Naturally, I drew a blank! Then, after spending some time over on my Stat Counter page, I decided that I could perhaps humor you with some of the searches that have brought people to my blog. Some of them make sense while some of them are pretty darned mystifying but - hey - it's still pretty interesting to see what people type into a search engine and what gets them to land on my blog! So far there doesn't seem to be anything pornographic or illegal that brings them here and I believe I shall chalk that up as a good thing. So, while you enjoy that big ole' piece of cyber-cake, I present to you for your reading pleasure ...

The Best of My Stat Counter Searches!

  • The most common and popular search to my blog is: Rachel Lutkzer, Rachel Lutzker, Rachel Lutzker (perhaps it's time I did a new post on the oft-searched Traffic Reporter for WFSB Channel 3 Eyewitness News & fed her hungry fans!)
  • Penny Wise the dancing clowns AMVs (this had to be my brother doing this search!)
  • When did Are We There Yet come out (obviously referring to the lesser known movie!)
  • Single mom's broken hearts (ut-oh!)
  • Who was the star who mistakenly stood up to accept academy award? (good question, who was that?)
  • Synonym "I'm not at liberty to say" (huh?)
  • My Chemical Romance known B sides ("B sides"? They still have B sides??)
  • Kimball hospital birth rates 2006 (well, I was born at Day Kimball Hospital!)
  • Worcester MA police dispatch job (gee, are they hiring??)
  • Statistics of couples who met through a friend (this could be interesting to know ...)
  • What was Abe Lincoln's mom's name? (I don't recall ever mentioning it before but if you're curious it was Nancy Hanks from West Virginia)
  • Emergency medical dispatch questions taking too long (now this search makes sense!)
  • Gerard Way voice generator (you're kidding me, right??)
  • How many WW points for pulled pork (someone was hungry!)
  • When feelings aren't reciprocated (Feelings ... nothing more than feelings ...woowoowoo)
  • Stress relieving jabberwocky dolls (you can probably find these with the Gerard Way voice generator if you look hard enough!)
  • "Vista compatible wireless cards" (oh yes, I know exactly what post this one goes to and boy, was it ever frustrating!)
  • Even when a man is listening, he is going to get it wrong (well, yes, probably!)
  • Shameless moms (maybe I was wrong about the whole porn thing??)
  • Faith and begora definition (I strive to be internationally correct!)
  • Thank you for curing me of my ridiculous obsession with love (sorry, not cured yet!)
  • Single line teasing quotations (your guess is as good as mine here!)
  • Fire incident rehab unit (yep, mentioned that a time or two)
  • Charles Lindbergh scavenger hunt (this could be fun but how it relates to here is beyond me!)
  • There's a club, a dead dad's club (and, sadly, I am a member of it)
  • Pay close attention (yes, please do!)
And there you have it folks, the best of the searches that have caused people to ask "Are We There Yet??". Mostly what it makes me ask is "why were you looking for that??" Ah well, it takes all kinds which is what makes life so interesting!

So - with that - onward and upward to post #500 and 30,000 page hits. I hope you'll stick around and join me on the continued journey!

Now ... is there any of that cake left??