The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 4th and runs through Sunday, January 10th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 15 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – http://boutofbooks.blogspot.com/2015/12/bout-of-books-15-sign-up.html
Thursday, December 17, 2015
Sunday, December 13, 2015
If someone could make an app to alert me 24/7 (Yeah, give it a setting to bypass blocking mode and stuff) when something on my Amazon wishlist or shopping list goes on sale (at a discount amount I can set, because saving 1% is not worth getting woken up over), that's an app I'd pay 99 cents to own.
Lightning deals are great, but there are hundreds of them a day right now. And sometimes they change at the last minute. It's a very "luck of the draw" situation. But if I got an alert that something I want will be on super sale in the near future (or right this second), that's valuable information.
There are some services that come close. Obviously the largest obstacle would be that the app needs to do this without draining my battery. It would have to connect to a server of some kind, and that server would have to check Amazon every 20 minutes. Pinging my app, and thus alerting me, only if relevant information becomes pertinent.
Maybe this is a $2.99 app.
Anyway- if someone can get on that, that's be great. Thanks. ♥
Saturday, December 12, 2015
There's a common issue that cat caretakers know- a cat will only eat from the center of the bowl. Here's today's million dollar invention idea:
A bowl that shakes/tilt&rotates every hour or so. (Comes with a customizable timer.)
Keep kitty happy all day.
Monday, November 23, 2015
I've been the stick figure on the right sooo many times. That's why I rant on my blog instead of other places (like Facebook). The stick figure on the left just doesn't get it. Of course, I also have to deal with stick figures on the left that think Christian is one religion, and EVERY other religion in the world that is, was, or will be is "that other religion, with the bingo marks on the face, not eating pork, wearing towels, dressing in black, worshipping cows and some fat dude, and handing out bracelets at the airport." And I just can't EVEN - you know? There is a point where you realize you're attempting a conversation with someone of a significantly lower IQ or a bizarre lack of education or something that I can't even fathom because how did they arrive at that conclusion and come to grasp it so strongly that no amount of Google, encyclopedias, or rationally can chip at the core of DUH.
Wednesday, November 18, 2015
Tuesday, November 17, 2015
My college history professor, Dr. Mayr, was a Jew from Germany. He told us about growing up there during the war. So what I am about about to write here is based on that. (So if I contradict a wiki, deal with it.)
For the past few days I've seen posts for and against refugees in America. The in favor posts are making the comparison to Jewish refugees during the World Wars. I don't think the "con" side of the debate is making the connection. Here's a different way to go.
The Nazi army was not entirely voluntary. It was, "you're a German male who is able to fight, so you will join or we will kill you and your whole family." That's how hate groups plump their numbers. There simply aren't enough people willing to kill for blind hate. They will kill for love. They will kill to keep their family alive.
They will also surrender if someone stronger can keep their family alive.
The "con" side of the argument is that America IS NOT strong enough to do that. I disagree. And I think it's stupid to tell the world we think we're weak.
But if someone wants to have a religious angle here:
Jesus didn't back down and say He couldn't take care of people. He pulled fish out of no where, whipped out a crazy amount of bread, and took unfiltered water and turned it into drinkable wine. If you believe this or not isn't the point here- it's that you heard about it. Over two thousand years later and you STILL hear people talking about it.
So cry about not being able to deal, being scared of people who showed up because they DON'T support the enemy, and about everyone doing nothing beyond social media conversations. History won't remember.
I'm just saying that there's an opportunity to reduce the number of the enemy without killing anyone. If Nazi army had been reduced by 80% at the start of the war, AND many of that percent gave intelligence to The Allies and maybe even fought with them-- how long would the War have lasted? Ridiculously outnumber the enemy, or make more of them. That's the real choice on the table. Keep treating scared friends like they are enemies and yes, they will have to fight back. Make them allies and they'll fight beside you instead.
Sunday, November 15, 2015
The writing group that I'm a part of - NaNoWriMo- has a region in Paris, France. Those writers were at a cafe when the attack happened. They are all okay. But they were posting, live, to our group. We've responded by sending well wishes and showing our concern.
Some people say that makes no difference. Doesn't it? Because I think it helps to know that people, a large chunk of the population, cares. That whole "united we stand" saying is supposed to mean something.
I'd also like to think that people would care if this were a different attack. If, for instance, the attack was by the KKK against a portion of the population in Alabama. I'd love to tell you that all of Christianity wouldn't be blamed for that. I'd like to tell you people wouldn't respond by suggesting bombs get dropped on the Vatican. But there's a bit of hate floating in my Facebook news feed with those sorts of responses. Yes, I'm all in favor of tracking the ISIS down and eliminating them. But wanting to fight that group is like wanting to fight the Klan, not like wanting to fight The Pope and all other leaders of the Christian faith. I'm also not convinced that countries with mandatory prayer five times a day are "Godless" or less religious than America. I'm not suggesting that we should have mandated religion here- just that there's a hole in the argument.
At any rate, I hope the people of Paris find peace and safety again. Love be with you all.
Thursday, November 12, 2015
I just want to send a big INTERNET HUG to the super ☆awesome☆ Nicki and Andrew. They are the wonderful municipal liasons for my local NaNoWriMo group. Thanks for keeping our group together, keeping us motivated, and spreading that positive energy. ♥
Saturday, November 7, 2015
I have the Starbucks Mobile App. The "order with app" is in the Beta stage. There were bonus stars for using the ordering feature, which is why I tried it. Here is a summary of those attempts:
1- October 31, 2015- $14.47- Went inside, stood in line. The woman ahead of me in line had never been to a Starbucks. And the person waiting on her was a trainee. So customer asked a question, trainee had to flag down an employee to get an answer. Five minutes later I get to the register and say I'm here for my order pick up. After a consultation... "Oh, you're supposed to go to the pick-up area for that." Okay, I go over there. After first-time-customer gets her drink, someone finally acknowledges me. I repeat that I'm here for my order. The person finds it.
I've been here for 15 minutes now. I just take it and go.
I miss the drive-thru.
2-November 5, 2015- $9.22- Ordered. It didn't have the latest drinks listed. Could have had something better! Whatever. Go to pick up my order. This time I skip the register line and go straight to the pick-up area, since I know the protocol. This location doesn't have a drive-thru. It does have the friendliest barista I've ever encountered. He's awesome. But he's waiting on folks who are in line. "All by myself" by Eric Carmen plays in my head. Super Barista finally sees me. He asks if he can help. I tell him why I'm there. He reheats my sandwich and makes my drink fresh because- SURPRISE- THEY WERE BOTH COLD. But he fixes that without my having to ask. Still, let me point out that I have saved no time, and actually spent extra time standing here waiting to be noticed. This is not an improvement, or better, or faster. It's a way to get ignored and get hot food served cold (unless a great employee won't serve crap and thus intervenes.)
I learned that, to get the latest "seasonal" items, I had to uninstall the app, reboot my phone, reinstall the app, and log back in.
3- November 7, 2015- $10.28- Ordered at the same location as in the first one. Went in, went straight to pick-up. Watched FIVE drive-thru people get served. When the girl brought a drink over for someone who had ordered at the register, I finally get acknowledged. "Oh, here," she says as she pulls it out. "The whipped cream is deflated. I can add more if you want." I had ordered an iced Chestnut Praline Latte. The whipped cream isn't the biggest issue. Nearly all the ice melted. This tastes like slightly flavored water with cream. Gross. And my sandwich? If you just hold it for a minute instead of using a stove, microwave, or fire- that's how "warm" it is.
I long for the drive-thru.
The bonus stars, which lead to free drinks, do not feel worth it. It isn't like at Panera where you can mobile order and the stuff is on a reachable shelf so you can just get it. This isn't McDonald's with a heat lamp to keep your breakfast sandwich warm.
I loved Starbucks. But I really hate the pick up portion of mobile ordering.
Those are my experiences. What about you?
Sunday, October 25, 2015
What if America's 2016 election had some of these items tossed in?
1- People who want to start a war, especially because they are feeling intolerant, are required to fight in it. Can't fight? Must volunteer some other way. Can't do that? Donate several thousand dollars or be jailed for intolerance.
2- Pro life protesters would be required to adopt one child for every protest they take part in. No swapping kids- you get what you get. Can't afford the kid? Should have thought of that before spreading your legs to walk to that protest. The kid tries to kill you, or is related to someone who has harmed you? Good. Social services will stop by to make sure you're parenting well.
3- We are going to need more space in prison thanks to the first two. So weed will now be legal but restricted like alcohol. You only go to jail if your involvement with it harms another. Also, there will be a tax on weed. (Tax evasion is still a crime.)
4- Gun owners are required to donate 10 hours a year to teaching gun safety- 5 hours if taught to more than 20 children. Must include reasons NOT to shoot.
Just a start. Not that these would be on the ballot. Easier to just blame whoever wins than take any responsibility.
Friday, October 23, 2015
Reject call to voice mail AFTER appropriate amount of rings.
And there's the idea. Because some calls you can't or won't take right now, but you don't want the caller to know this. So one more option which will make your phone stop ringing, but the caller won't be sent to voice mail until the appropriate amount of rings, preventing them from knowing that you hit reject.
In some ways it is polite. In some it is just handy.
I have no background in making things like this, so I can't do anything with it. But I figured I'd toss it out there for someone who does know.
Have you ever wished your phone had this feature?
Tuesday, October 13, 2015
Thursday, September 17, 2015
Does anyone else remember the time that the BEST film made in a year, the very best that Hollywood had to offer, was a black& white without sound that a vast majority of people had never seen or heard of? The following year came with a curiosity- viewership of the award show dropped. It must have been the host! It isn't as if normal people watched to root for a favorite, or even for something they had at least heard of.
Similarly, voting in political elections has been on the decline. Many people will tell you that it doesn't matter who wins because no one gets things done that they say they will. They generally can't, either due to corruption from raising money for elections, or because they face opposing party members. People want one candidate who is actually different, who stands out from the crowd, and yet manages to be effective. They want the government that fictional books and movies offer. The one with teeth. The one that sees laws that are lacking or are dreadfully out of date and manages to fix it. Cyber crime grows faster than the laws created to prevent it. It's like the politicians need to keep the gun argument on the table so the people don't notice the serious lack of virtual protection, of virtual guns needed for the same reason the founding fathers bothered to put a right to arms in that document! But really, if the people don't have a favorite candidate, or assume that the favorite they do have won't win because they learned that The Artist is as good as it gets, voter turn out will continue the same decline that The Academy has been straddled with.
Tuesday, August 4, 2015
Bones: The Girl in Suite 2103
Watch about 13 minutes in. Notice how the camera follows a woman's butt as she walks. There's no other visual for focus.
This is a show with a strong female lead who is extremely intelligent.
It's a wonder that people continue to treat women as sexual objects. Subliminal visual images are powerful. Without a word, teaching viewers that it is acceptable to just stare at a person as an object for a prolonged amount of time.
Sure, it's okay. She was paid for that strut. Probably fought for the opportunity.
But the director had an opportunity to shoot humans as equals.
Hard to market that.
Just an observation.
Monday, July 6, 2015
Tuesday, June 23, 2015
Here's where I lose friends, respect, and any chance at running for political office.
Abortion isn't a woman's issue. That's like saying gun violence in an ER doctor issue. Unwanted pregnancy doesn't often come from women. (The exception being, perhaps, when pregnancy endangers the life of the mother or the health of the baby. Still, that's no more a woman's issue than lung cancer is! ) So, instead of talking about effects, how about addressing cause?
Seriously, what if words like rape and incest were ones you had to get a dictionary to figure out? Could straight men be convinced not to cause unwanted pregnancy? What if that were the conversation instead. Get that issue under control. Then, once that crime gets as rare around America as the black plague, THEN we can have a conversation about abortion. See how many are left. As a reminder, no, men don't get free birth control. However, no prescription is needed to buy condoms, which are sold all over. The non-latex ones have almost zero side effects.
I'd love to hear politicians discuss this. I doubt that'll happen in my lifetime. It'll just be back and forth about the effect, and never touch the cause.
Sunday, May 3, 2015
Friday, May 1, 2015
Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Maybe I got a picture of an X-Ray Tetra, which is a small species of schooling fish that is naturally found in the Amazon River's coastal waters.