Monday, July 31, 2017

A Sad Bit of Irony

After I posted about the birthday of favored guitarist John 5 my big brother called with difficult news. Our mother, who endured a long battle with sickening health and declining cognitive faculties, did not survive her latest surgery repairing a PICC line insertion.

This is almost a relief, I’m blessed to say. I can’t remember when she felt well. She is survived by her husband and four kids, as well as more loving friends than I dare name.

I even heard from an old acquaintance I couldn’t resist contacting. My first love seemed deserving of the knowledge and sent email lavishing her with praise.

Thank you, Dad, for doing the best you could. And to all those who provided therapy, care, and support – bless you.


Happy Birthday, John 5

I’ve been fortunate to live in a part of the United States loaded with great concert venues. I can’t begin to list all the shows I’ve gotten to see. But seeing Rob Zombie on tour stands out in mind as the incredible guitarist John 5 celebrates his birthday today.

Happy Birthday, Dude!

During one unforgettable solo he actually played guitar with his face. How cool is that? John 5 has done amazing work with Marilyn Manson, too, which is where I first heard his playing. I learned of his birthday thanks to Rob Zombie’s Instagram page.

Rob Z and John 5 Tearing Up the Stage
Keep rockin’, Rob and John. You guys are awesome. Here you can read a short interview with the down-to-earth musician from 2014.

Have you heard of John 5? His styles range far outside heavy metal. Having read the article above I may have to buy at least one of his solo releases.


Saturday, July 29, 2017

Fonts Matter – Part Two

Yesterday’s humorous discovery led to another great tell about how lettering makes a difference. Check this out and tell me you don’t get a different vibe between the two.

Did you ‘hear’ the two notes read with a different internal voice?


Friday, July 28, 2017

Fonts Matter

My partner found something amusing today. I just had to share.

What’s you favorite type of humor?


Thursday, July 27, 2017

Why I Hate Heroin and Love the Nineties

I have a tendency toward falling into adoration for great television shows about to be canceled and, worse, talented people after they have passed beyond the mortal coil. Fitting examples include Japanese drummer Kami of Malice Mizer and the wonderful comedian Mitch Hedburg.

Today I wish to honor the latter with a brief early video. Enjoy.


Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Day of the Dog

I grew up calling the hottest days of the year the ‘dog days of summer’, which I thought simply referenced those smart pets lying low to keep cool. The story is much more interesting.

Forget the Heat, We're Rockin' in the A/C

Our term derives from the Latin dies caniculares, or ‘puppy days’, referencing the rising of the dog star Sirius alongside the sun. I thank Wikipedia for that information, including the cool word ‘heliacal’ meaning ‘related to or near the sun’.

The ‘Blood Moon’ novelette series I’m working on includes a tale called The Dog Days of Summer. I find it rather fitting as the Greeks and Romans associated this period of the year with lethargy, fever, mad dogs, and bad luck. My characters sure endure plenty of that last.

In a converse bit of good luck the weather on my back porch today is quite temperate. I plan to enjoy writing out here as long as it stays cool. It will be nice when autumn lowers the heat index. My backyard is nothing special but does provide a secluded and overall peaceful place to write.

What’s your favorite way to spend a nice day?


Monday, July 24, 2017

Dream a Little Dream of Me

Thinking of a fabulous experience the other night I couldn’t resist referencing the classic tune, a favorite by sixties group The Mamas and The Papas. That aside, what I want to share is that I’m often blessed by fantastic dreams. More than one has turned into a short story.

Science fiction or fantasy, every now and then delving into world history, the scenarios sometimes play out like a movie. Thursday night I had one so intense that my dream self stood crying in the midst of watching (reading?) a tragic romance.

That one begged to be written. As of now I’m up to chapter three and on the cusp of making the main character’s life change for the better.

It’s been really fun, as well as emotionally moving at times, fleshing out the details. Yesterday I researched what one should do upon finding a suicide survivor bleeding out from slit wrists. Yeah. It’s intense.

I’m thankful to have never been on either side of such tragedy. But my character Tyler has, and is about to find a reason to live again. I can hardly wait to keep going. For now I decided to go back to polishing my fantasy series, letting ideas percolate on where to take ‘Submerged’ next. It’s a working title I may keep as Tyler is a former competitive swimmer forced to quit after a debilitating accident.

And that’s not even what brought him so low! The loss of his spouse to cancer undermined his will, so I guess I shouldn’t let him languish too long. ~grin~ Better get back to writing!

Any new projects have you excited?


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

News on the Feline Front

We got official word back from the veterinarian. Tilly has a bladder infection. I’m actually relieved considering the possibilities.

Apparently it’s bacterial, meaning I’ll be giving her a liquid antibiotic for the next two weeks. We’ll see how that goes. Then she goes back for another urinalysis. Wish us luck.

I was going to post a picture of the sweet, silly cat. But Blogger seems to be having technical issues. At least my kitty should recover. Maybe the messy water play will end, too.

What are you thankful for today?

Monday, July 17, 2017

A Fungus Among Us

I want to give a shout-out to The Squirrel Nutwork blog in Reston, Virgina (USA) for introducing me to an amazing fungus. I have never seen this aptly named coral fungus before in my life.

Photo Credit to Nutmeg and Co. of The Squirrel Nutwork
Isn’t it the stuff of fantasy? I wouldn’t want to leave if I found it sprouted somewhere in hopes fairies, a unicorn, or perhaps some fanciful flying fish might appear.


Saturday, July 15, 2017

Update on Tilly

Early this morning a veterinarian got a blood sample from Tilly but, bladder infection being one concern, could not retrieve any urine. Now we need to either get a sample sometime Sunday night to bring in early Monday or drop her off for however many hours it takes for them to get a sample.

I foresee her taking another trip. Poor kitty.

Tilly's Big Paws Absorb an Amazing Amount of Water
We were given a product meant to simulate litter without absorbing the liquid. But they gave us so little that I doubt Tilly would use a box with a scattering of this stuff.

Having two cats makes it that much more difficult. And I’m not about to stress Jezebel over the matter. She isn’t much younger and I don’t want to disrupt her good litter box behavior.

Meanwhile I had to clean and refill both water bowls this morning. It’s amazing how fast the water gets filthy. My socks got wet, too, and the linoleum is starting to look like the road next to a construction sight with wet clay tracked everywhere.

So, what do you have planned for the weekend?


Friday, July 14, 2017

Antics of an Aging Cat

I don’t know what has gotten into our ‘Silly’ Tilly lately. She’s acting sillier than usual splashing water all around. Having hyperthyroidism and taking twice daily pills for the condition, she may need a trip to the vet. It wouldn’t hurt to check her thyroid levels and kidney condition.

In the meantime, I am trying to solve the issue of filthy water bowls and wet flooring as she continues dunking paws in the drinking water put out for her and Jezebel. Thinking the taller bowls we’ve used for years might be irritating her whiskers I found the shallowest thing possible.

I put out a serving tray centered on a storage bin lid to prevent spills leaking into the basement. As you can see, the results are underwhelming.

This is a Foot Bath, Right?
She really got into paddling away a moment later, too. At least the lid contained the water.

Do any of you fellow cat caregivers have any suggestions as to why this behavior would appear overnight? In the meantime, I guess I’ll call my local veterinarian’s office.


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

A Rose By Any Other Name...

I opened correspondence from our health insurer yesterday and decided to share something fascinating. On the back of the last page was a set of instructions in eighteen different languages.

Eighteen! Sure there are almost seven thousand living languages known worldwide. But still...

They're Listed in English Alphabetical Order;
How Thoughtful
For That Matter, Why Even List the Languages in English?
How did someone choose which dialects to include? And why isn’t 'French (France)' represented?


Monday, July 10, 2017

Less Than Twelve Hours to Go!

I’ve been waiting for tonight’s Avenged Sevenfold concert for several months and can hardly believe the time approaches. I’m blessed to have attended many good shows over the years but it’s been a while. This should be fun.

Seeing as it’s such a special occasion I did some shopping. I bought new cosmetics, for one thing. The products look, feel, and hold up great. It’s been ages since I’ve bothered wearing any because my cheap stuff couldn’t withstand a minor sweat. So that proved a good investment for day-to-day use.

I also bought a new purse because my daily use one is super small. The last thing I want is to have belongings fall out while I’m buying a concert shirt. ~grin~ And the animal print matches the grey and black outfit I intend to wear.

On that note a new bolero style sweater should be comfortable over my tank top, and preferable to exposing lots of skin to the sun. I am taking sunscreen, however. I learned that lesson after an Anarchy ‘A’ pendant reverse branded my chest with sunburn. ~shakes head~ That made for interesting office conversation back in the day.

Last but not least is an older investment. Tired of feeling frumpy, I heard about a company called Orchard Corsets thanks to Josh Clark on the podcast Stuff You Should Know. Here’s the cool galaxy print one and tank top I intend to wear tonight.

That's an Oregami Crane Print Top
Oh, and I’m taking ear plugs in case the sound threatens to blow out my ear drums. Now, I’m off to get my hair styled. In the meantime, you can enjoy a song I expect to hear live, 'The Stage'.

Do you have anything fun planned this week?


Friday, July 7, 2017

Men and Their Hair: One Woman’s Opinion

I have liked long hair on guys for as long as I can remember. Blame the eighties rock and roll scene if you want. I still like the look if pulled off properly.

Australian Artist Gotye
How Adorable is This Guy?
Lately I keep hearing haters disparage the ‘man bun’. Personally, it doesn’t bother me. People should be able to wear their hair however they want. Would you begrudge a samurai from the Edo Period his chonmage?

Topknots Helped Keep a Helmet in Place
Jared Leto Rocking a Chonmage
And for these styles in particular I approve for two simple reasons. For one, alternatives on how to wear long hair means more men might do so.

No Complaints Here
Also, you know the old saying, ‘let your hair down’? Yeah. I want to be there when some of these guys do that. And I’m talking to you hot dudes at my gym.

To Quote Joe Cocker, You Can Leave Your Hat On
Just don't do comb-overs, fellows, please. At that point let. It. Go. Or if you can't, and I understand, just don't expect to be taken as seriously as this guy:

Captain's Uniform Optional
 What’s your opinion? Long? Short? Up? Down? Do you care?


Thursday, July 6, 2017

Darla’s Tips and Tricks: A Failsafe for the Digital Age

A common mistake many people make with modern technology is instilling too much trust. Every day someone learns once it’s too late that a computer crash can take all your data along for the ride. Knowing some dear folks who have suffered this, I’d like to share a simple idea.

While I own a solid state external hard drive I don’t use it on a frequent basis. For one thing, that hardware is as susceptible to failure as any other. But safeguarding my fiction, especially in the process of intensive rewrites, is important to me.

So I discovered an alternative. Rather than trust disks, hard drives, or Internet 'cloud' storage, I email documents to myself.

Having two separate email addresses using different platforms provides an added layer of protection. One email saves a copy in the ‘sent’ folder while the other's ‘in’ box (I hope) preserves the same information. The process is quick, easy, and the document can even remain open.

Do you back up your data? If so, what’s your method of preference?


Monday, July 3, 2017

Monroe's On the Lake

Last week my partner and I went on a whirlwind tour of the southern United States to visit parents, my mother in hospital. After five straight days of travel and a different motel every night, I am very happy to be home and can happily say my parents are doing well as can be expected.

My favorite stay was at Monroe’s On the Lake. In fact, due to the busy nature of our trip I took more pictures there than anywhere. It’s an older facility but nicely appointed with cool furniture.

Love the Dresser
Continuing the Spanish Feel
Super Cool Chair
Lake Monroe and the Pool I Never Got to Use
The best part of travel is coming home. Don’t you agree?