Morning Snafu

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My quote of the day on my Google HomePage is from Douglas Adams who said: "The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to get at or repair."

How Omniscient

I walked into the study a few minutes ago and went to the windows to pull the curtains. In an instant the thing that can't go wrong, went wrong. To my utter amazement the curtain rod with curtain attached fell. It has been attached firmly to the wall for years, but, suddenly, it crashed down on my unsuspecting head.

Of course, it's one of those huge tall windows that requires an 8 ft. step ladder. It's not impossible to repair, but it is difficult to get at. Instead of writing this morning, the first morning I've had the leisure to do so, I'm putting on my Home Repair cap and getting the big step ladder and the tools. At least I am after I finish complaining. *g*

Takeaway Truth

Some days you should follow your inclination to just have coffee while watching the morning talking heads.

Summer Heat

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Quote for the Week

Today is the first day of summer. Here in Texas, it's hot as a sidewalk in Hell, assuming they have sidewalks in Hell. So heat is on my mind, especially since I need to store some things in the attic today. Five minutes up there, and I'll lose 5 pounds.

I want to quote part of a passage from Mad In Pursuit, by the late French author Violette Leduc.

"I walk without flinching through the burning cathedral of the summer."

I love summer, but this summer seems especially warm. The description of it as a burning cathedral seems particularly appropriate.

Takeaway Truth

Like I tell my Mom who complains about the heat. Enjoy it. You'll miss it when winter comes.

Small World of Memory

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The other day my youngest daughter, the one whose surgery and recovery I've been blogging about, was watching TV, and good parents that we are, my husband and I were keeping her company. A commercial for Disneyworld in Orlando began playing. We looked at each other, and we started grinning. I began humming, "It's a Small World After All," and they both started singing whereupon we all immediately burst into laughter.

Memories

You see, back when she was in middle school, we loaded all the kids but the oldest, who was in college and had a job, into the car one spring break and headed to Orlando. That spring break lives on in our memories and is always recalled with fondness and a lot of laughter. My only regret was that the Internet wasn't in full swing then, and there was no website to offer us discount Disney tickets. With five of us, we could have used some discounts since we tried to cram everything into our week at Disneyworld.

Lucky For You

Fortunately, OrlandoFunTickets.com is a resource you can use to plan your Disney vacation. In addition to being the largest ticket discount store in Florida, they're licensed and bonded, and they have authorized contracts with Disney. Best of all, they use their volume buying power in pricing tickets so they can pass the savings on to you, and, unlike a lot of ticket sellers, there are no hidden fees when you purchase from them.

Distinctive Difference

They're specialists in theme parks with a management team that has more than 50 years experience in the industry, and they want to make you a return customer. Be sure and sign up online to receive updates and special offers. You can email them or call using the toll free phone number or use the online contact form. They'll get back to you. If you know what you want after checking out their website, you can purchase using a major credit card because their site is a GeoTrust secure website.

The website also has a wealth of other information like details about the parks and the rides as well as Customer Feedback that will impress you. You can also find information about their flexible Delivery Options for your ticket purchase. You can get them shipped to you in advance (even Internationally), or you can pick them up yourself when you arrive in Orlando. You can even have them delivered to your hotel. Sweet!

Rest of the Story

In case you're wondering why "It's a Small World After All" make us all crack up, here's the tale of the afternoon we spent at the Magic Kingdom. We were in the little boats, floating through what were supposed to be underground caverns I guess, with that song playing over and over and over. We were hot and exhausted after a long day at the park.

In our family, when we get really tired, we get really silly. All of a sudden all of us, in unison, began singing that song aloud, mimicking the high pitched, toddler voices of the recording. Everyone stared and pointed, but we didn't care. The more we floated and sang, the more we laughed until we all had tears streaming down our cheeks. We could hardly climb out of the boats, we were laughing so hard. Even as I write this, I'm giggling.

Takeaway Truth

I can't corral all the kids for another Disney vacation, but maybe in a few years we'll have grandkids to take. Now that would be fun.

First Cast

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The title of this blog post might sound as if it has something to do with a movie. The picture, of course, shows that it's about my daughter's recent surgery.

She's shown in the first cast, an artistic rendering by the cast technician, rather than the usual solid color cast you usually see. This cast stays on 2 weeks. Then it will be removed, steel pins checked, and a new cast installed. She's decided on red and white for the next one with maybe the Texas Tech logo since that's where she's going for grad school.

I'll try to take a picture next time because the cast technician is amazing. He's worked with the Astros, Oilers, and the Texans, and he can cast up a leg in nothing flat. This design is one he uses on a MotoCross team that needs his services on a frequent basis.

Takeaway Truth

Everything changes to reflect technology and trends.

Hotel Advantage

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I've always thought the great Irish Playwright George Bernard Shaw had it right when he said: "The great advantage of a hotel is that it's a great refuge from home life." When I travel, that's what I want: a refuge from the household tasks I must perform at home, combined with a little luxury and a lot of cleanliness. Hotels Combined makes it easy to find what I want.

Viva La Difference

They're not a travel agency so you can't book a vacation, transportation, or a room with them. Their name says it all. They're a search engine that combines and compiles data about hotels all over the world. You can discover room availability at specific locations along with the room rate, or the rack rate as my son who's a hotel general manager calls it. You don't have to open a bunch of browser tabs to jump back and forth between different sites in an effort to compare prices and offers.

You just plug in your destination city along with your "check in" and "check out" dates, and Hotels Combined goes to work. In mere seconds, you'll be presented with Search results giving you many choices with the prices displayed. You can even read independent hotel reviews posted by travelers, see pictures, and read descriptions of the hotel. When you find something that matches what you want in a hotel, just click to deal directly with that hotel or travel website.

Free? You Bet!

Guess what? This user friendly Search service, established in 2005 by former online hotel reservation industry experts, is free. You can filter your search by price or location, and you get real time results including taxes, not last month's rates, displayed on one simple web page. You can compare not just hotels but also online travel agents like Expedia, Travelocity, Hotels.com, to name a few.

With the click of a mouse button, you have access to a database containing more than 900,000 hotel deals, more than a million consumer reviews, about 3 million pictures of hotels, 2 million descriptions, and maps too. Now that's the kind of information smart travelers can use to make smart decisions.

Getting Around

Those maps can help you out when it comes to planning your transportation once you arrive at your destination hotel. It's odd, but when I'm in my own country, I drive everywhere. When I've been in Europe and Asia though, I delight in the mass transit transportation offered. Trust me on this, anyone who goes to Europe should get a Rail Pass. You can order it online and have it when you arrive. There's just no better way to get around Europe.

I recall the first subway system I ever used was the Paris Metro. In Texas, we don't have subways so taking the Metro was an adventure for me. It can whisk you from anywhere in Paris, all the way out to Versailles and beyond. It's inexpensive, convenient, and easy to navigate even if you don't speak any language but your own native tongue.

Takeaway Truth

Planning trips has changed a lot with the advent of the Internet. Today, you can choose your own hotel, knowing it matches your requirements, not a travel agent's possible arrangement with a hotel.

Something About Granite

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Have you noticed how many modern kitchens are still adorned with yesterday's kitchen sink? Sad to say, but I'm one of those with a plain white undermount double offset bowl sink. There's nothing wrong with my sink, but I'd love to replace it with the rich hues offered by Granite Sinks

If It Ain't Broke. . .

Many people just don't understand why you'd replace a perfectly good kitchen sink. Of course, those people are usually men like my husband who operates on the principle of: "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." I'm working on persuading him that we really need a new kitchen sink by telling him the benefits offered by a granite sink from MRDirect.

Hard Facts

For instance, granite is a natural stone so it's environmentally friendly. Plus, it's more sanitary because silver ions are bonded with the sink. That kills 99.9% of bacteria. On contact. Granite sinks are also stain proof so you can retire your bleach, scrubbing cleanser, and elbow grease. Of course, granite lasts forever, and it's very resistant to scratching, unlike most solid surface sinks.

MRDirect Facts

This is the place to shop for sinks. They've got just about every variety at prices that won't put a major dent in your wallet. Their website offers secure shopping as evidenced by the Security Badges displayed, and they take major credit cards and PayPal for your convenience . They also have a toll free phone number. Best of all they offer a Lifetime Warranty and same day shipping.

Takeaway Truth

Home design trends change over the years, and your home should reflect that in order to maintain its highest value.

Clean Your Hard Drive

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When I was having problems back when my external hard drive failed, royally screwing up some files that had been loaded in the Registry, I turned to Piriform for help. I'd read about them before and had intended to Download their CCleaner. I just hadn't got around to it.

With all my computer problems, I made the time. It was easy - so simple, and it worked like a charm. Best of all, it's FREE.

A new version of CCleaner is available for download from their website now. Do yourself a favor and get this. It's top notch with none of the problems usually associated with free software. After you download it, you can register for their email updates. Whenever they tweak it or offer something new, you'll know about it immediately.

When you discover how great a product it is, you'll probably want to download their other software too. I'll tell about those another time.

Takeaway Truth

Keeping your computer clean and healthy is less expensive with quality free software.

Twitter Spam

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I have a minuscule presence on Twitter because I simply don't have time to keep up with this site. It's a fun idea and posting very short snippets is easy, but following others, no matter how interesting, or collecting followers, no matter how much it flatters the ego, takes time. I'm just really short on time.

Sadly, I'm not alone in the pursuit of extra time. I look at all the resources of the Internet and the fun social network opportunities, and I just feel overwhelmed.

Everyone seems to be advocating Twitter for increased online presence, but in the spare moments of my day, I'd rather walk around my neighborhood and chat with RLPs (Real Live Persons) than cyber chat. I applaud anyone who can do both. I'm just not one of them. My ability to juggle so many tasks seems to lessen with every birthday, as does my desire to do so.

I laughed when I saw that my last few followers are spammers who have caught on to Twitter's marketing clout. Read about it here.

Takeaway Truth

Writers are always told to choose their battles carefully. I think a corollary to this must be to choose your time sucks carefully too.

Flag Day

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Quote for the Week

In 1917, President Woodrow Wilson said: "This flag, which we honor and under which we serve, is the emblem of our unity, our power, our thought and purpose as a nation. It has no other character than that which we give it from generation to generation. The choices are ours. It floats in majestic silence above the hosts that execute those choices, whether in peace or in war. And yet, though silent, it speaks to us — speaks to us of the past, or the men and women who went before us, and of the records they wrote upon it."

June 14 is Flag Day with the week designated as National Flag Week. During that week, the President usually issues a proclamation urging Americans to fly the American flag for the entire week.

In 1777, the Second Continental Congress of the fledgling United States of America adopted the flag with its red and white stripes and the field of blue with thirteen stars. Flag Day commemorates that event.

In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation that established June 14 as Flag Day. Though it's still not an official federal holiday, National Flag Day was established by an Act of Congress in 1949 and has been celebrated ever since.

Takeaway Truth

Do your part this year. Fly a flag. If you don't have one, get one. They're not that expensive. Donate to a veterans organization. Do something to celebrate, and make it an annual event - a family event.

Not As Sleep Deprived

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I'm happy to report that we all slept last night. My daughter is finally doing much better after changing the pain medication 4 times. The recovery has been much worse than the surgery or so she said.

For the last 7 days, my sleep has been about 20 minutes every other hour. That's how bad it's been. My poor daughter averaged maybe 45 minutes every hour. I hope that's over.

Takeaway Truth

There is light at the end of the tunnel.

Life's Curve Balls

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You won't see too much of me this summer I'm afraid. I'm forced to take the summer off. Don't think I mentioned it on this blog, but my daughter had orthopedic surgery last week. It's the kind of surgery that requires someone to take care of her on a 24/7 basis for a while.

Next week she'll go into a hard cast so she won't be quite so fragile. Right now though, life is rather challenging. I think since last week I've had maybe a grand total of 2 hours of sleep each 24 hour period. The good news is that she is doing well.

After she's in her hard cast, she'll have a couple of weeks to adjust before she, with me in tow as care giver and companion, leave for grad school. Think I'm going to have to break down and get a new laptop with wifi so I can continue writing and stay in touch.

Takeaway Truth

Sometimes life throws curve balls, and they're the size of bowling balls so you better be prepared to roll with the punches.

Satellite Internet Destroys Digital Divide

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Reliable Internet access is crucial if you are to have a successful web presence, but broadband access is even more important than for maintaining a promotional website. High speed Internet access is a digital divide between rural and urban America. Fortunately, high speed access is available for most of the lower 48 states, even if you live in a remote part of the country, from WildBlue, a satellite Internet provider created for small town and rural America.

Digital Divide

Pew Internet & American Life Project conducts research about our habits. According to one of their recent reports "Home Broadband Adoption 2008” nearly 55 percent of all adult Americans now have high-speed Internet in their home, up from 47 percent in early 2007. Guess what? These Americans are located in urban areas.

Obviously, access via broadband has caught on in mainstream urban America, but rural areas and many small towns have been left behind. As of 2008, there were 19,000 communities across the country that didn't have access to broadband. Research has shown that broadband connectivity not only increases an area's economic growth but also supports continuing education in the area. Additionally, it helps users train for jobs as well as conduct job searches.

Our economy is now a global one, and broadband helps our country be more competitive in the world marketplace. That competitive edge should be available to anyone in this country, not just in the metropolitan areas. Rural America can't afford to continue living on the wrong side of a digital divide.

WildBlue To The Rescue

Wild Blue, whether you call it by one word or two, offers 3 levels of service to fit your needs and your budget. With WildBlue Internet, you can choose between Value, Select, and Pro. The good news is that you get the most crucial features with all 3 packages: multiple email accounts, Spam filtering, Antivirus and Spyware software (free the first year and a small monthly fee thereafter), 24/7 Technical Support, and quality Equipment with a Limited Warranty.

They're a Satellite Internet company who wants to win you over. It's easy to see if your area, no matter how remote, has WildBlue available. Just put your Zip Code in the search box, and you'll instantly find out. Call them using the toll free phone number on their website, or fill out the webform and have them call you.

Why settle for Dial Up when high speed is available to you with WildBlue? Have questions? Read their FAQ. In fact, you can even read an easily understood explanation of how WildBlue High Speed Satellite Internet works. The website also gives their new customer offer which includes a hefty discount and free standard installation.

Takeaway Truth

Cross over that Digital Divide and learn how much fun the Internet can be when wait time is in fractions of seconds instead of multiples of minutes.

The Trouble With Love: New Chapter

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A new chapter from my romantic comedy novel has been posted at Romantic4Ever.com. Hope you are following the undercover misadventures of by-the-book Deputy Susannah Quinn and irrepressible FBI Special Agent D. E. Hogan.

Soundtrack

A new song will be added this week to the soundtrack found on this blog and on my other blog.

Takeaway Truth

Read free online The Trouble With Love, a great romantic comedy, courtesy of www.romantic4ever.com, with a new chapter added each month.