Thursday, January 28, 2010

Most Peculiar Mama!

The reading at the All Writers Workshop 5th Birthday party went pretty well. I read the first 5 pages of the High School BWCA trip. The nerves weren't too bad, and I got through it with everything intact, so life is good. The audience seemed to enjoy it and it got some laughs, so I can't complain.



The weather is COLD again, single digits at night and teens during the day. Not conducive to moving much, at least not outside.



We went to watch the Huskies pull sleds for the JanBoree celebration at Minooka Park this past weekend. It was a good chance to get outdoors and try and enjoy winter at least a bit. Here's a video of one of the pulls. It was funny, because some of the dogs just sat there and looked at their owner like they were saying,



"WTF? You think I'm pulling that thing? Pull it yourself you parka'd dorkus. Then go back to drinking your nice warm coffee while I sit my furry butt on the cold asphalt and beg for stuff that might fall out of your hands."



Huskies are a smart breed, as well as being strong. Anyway, here's the video.



Well, it failed on upload. I love technology. Its so pure and righteous.



With that, I'll be blogging off for now...

Friday, January 22, 2010

Speaking with a Canon

The video camera debacle we are in the midst of took a turn for the better yesterday. It is a long, winding story, that started with me looking into why the blasted thing wasn't working.

We'd won the camera as part of an sales incentive for Donna from Pampered Chef. It was probably 6 years old and had been acting strange. The LCD lens would be completely black even though it was actually recording...blackness.

Well, I looked online, and it turned out that it was a "known issue" with Canon. To make it better, they were honoring out-of-warranty cameras and even offered to send a pre-paid UPS shipping label so I could send it in for repair. Sweet!

So I wrapped it up and labeled it and told Donna to mail it when she got the chance. She then dropped it in a regular mail box. The USPS called us the next day and said they'd forward it on to UPS.

When I went to check how it was moving through the system, it seemed to be "in transit" for a long time period. I contacted both Canon and UPS about it and each of them called me to say they were "escalating" the issue and trying to track it.

After a week of this and calls and e-mails back and forth, I get a call from Canon yesterday saying they'd "like to resolve this issue quickly". They then said they were going to give me a comparable new (refurbished) camera in place of mine. Sweet.

So, they are sending me a $300 ZR850 model tomorrow for my trouble. It even includes a six month warranty. All for a camera that I had almost given up for dead.

http://www.usa.canon.com/consumer/controller?act=ModelInfoAct&fcategoryid=174&modelid=14726

I plan to write a lengthy note of praise to Canon when its all over and done with. They have done me right.

Thing is, I don't even use a video camera much anymore, but now I'll be set for another 5 years, at least. Life is good.

I'm getting revved up for the Janboree festival in Waukesha this weekend, including my reading at the All Writers Workshop 5 year anniversary party tomorrow. I plan on reading the introduction to my BWCA memoir, but I'll have some poems as a fall back in case people are getting weary. Don't want to bore the crowd.

http://www.janboree.org/
I'm beat and heading to bed. Blogging off for now...

Monday, January 18, 2010

Furlough, No Dough

Today was one of two county mandated furlough days. I had the house to myself from 8:30-2:30. It was heavenly, though over in a flash. I used the time to do some editing of my writings and a jazillion other things, it seems. It is amazing what you plan to do with the time alloted only to watch it tick away faster than you can work.

It is a parallel to life, I think, as you age. Stuart Briscoe, pastor of our church said yesterday that since we have technically 70 years on earth, that means we peak at 35 and then it's all downhill, gaining speed all the time. That is how it feels at the moment. I'm in front of the boulder called life and it's gaining on me. Faster, faster, run faster.

I did get some clarity on the structure of my BWCA memoir after class last week. I was floundering with how to organize the various stories, etc., and as I was laying there trying to get to sleep, it all kind of came together for me. These moments of clarity are a welcome thing these days. I welcome them with open arms.

So the Vikings are in the NFC Championship again. I don't want to say a thing positively or negatively until I see the outcome of Sunday's game, so I'll leave it at that.

The reality of the Haiti earthquake is devastating. I showed Donna a picture of a garage with cars smashed by a fallen ceiling, and I said to her, this is why we need to hold on loosely to material things, and spend more time loving each other and our kids.

I'll leave you with a poem.

Mission Accomplished

His usefulness was used up
The government encouraged him to stop
Society demanded he stop
Because, evidently his time was up

He didn’t feel old, or used up
He felt like he was still useful
But his employer said no, you’re not
AARP agreed loudly, in a junk mailed letter

So he quit being ‘productive’
And turned to loving his grandkids
He volunteered at the food pantry
And helped his son paint his house

He lost some weight
And went to church more
Took time to listen to his wife
And stopped getting depressed on Sunday nights

There were days he missed his job
When he wished he could be more useful
What he didn’t realize was
He wasn’t of much use…until now

Friday, January 15, 2010

What is Going On Here?

First Pat Robertson, then Rush Limbaugh. What is with these talking head idiots? My goodness! I can't believe people actually listen to either of them. Fat headed idiots. Clueless. Wow. Maybe if no one watched or listened to these freaks, the networks would take them off the air and they'd go away.

I don't mean that Olberman, Franken, and Moore are any better. I lump them with the rest of them. None of any of them deserve the air time they get. This is why I have no time for these fools. Losers evidently do.

Wow, where did that rant come from? Wow.

On the brighter side, writer's workshop is going great guns. I love every session. I am learning a ton about myself, my voice and style, as well as much about writing in general. Some very cool, artistic people in it too. There's a couple poets, a couple of young adult fiction writers, a(nother) memoirist, and a couple of fiction writers. It's great fun and I am challenged weekly by them all. I've agreed to read at the studio's 5th anniversary celebration next Saturday from 7:00-9:00. If you're not doing anything stop down. www.allwriters.org

A special shout of thanks goes out to daughter Sarah who lent me her laptop to blog with. I want a Windows 7 Laptop! Because she needs it back, I'll be blogging off.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Voices inside my head

It's a strange deal the way your perspective changes when you're actively writing. You look at situations in a whole new light, thinking, prying and gleaning as much from it as you can, in the hopes that you might be able to use some of it in your book, poem or short story. I love the sign that reads "Be careful, you might be a character in my next book." So true.

So I can hardly walk down the street anymore without looking around and taking it all in. Even the mundane. Sunsets, traffic patterns, people and the coats they are wearing, dogs, the smell of the air.

My question then is how do I stop the "noise"? Or is it a healthy noise that I should be paying attention to? If so, if I stop writing, will the noise stop?

I may be reading at one or two upcoming events.

1. All Writers Workshop is having a 5th anniversary celebration. The Mayor of Waukesha has been invited. It is on January 23rd and is at 7:00. http://www.allwriters.org/index.asp

2. Unsung Love Songs Book Launch and Poetry Open Mic at Artavina:
http://www.firkinfiction.com/14.html

No promises, but I'd like to make at least one of them.

Blogging off for now...

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

2010 So Far

It's been a busy time since we returned home from NY state. We had a stay-over in the fine state of Indiana in South Bend. I plan on blogging more when I've caught my breath. Sorry it's been so long.