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Blog Challenge May 2016
A very challenging challenge!
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January 4, 2019 at 11:48am
January 4, 2019 at 11:48am
Make a prediction for how technology will advance in the next 18 years.

I know I don't come from the stone age, but I do know that I come from a different time. A time when people actually spoke to each other face to face. A time when dinner was ready when the street light came on and Dad was home from work. A time when we didn't lock our front doors, didn't worry about drinking from the garden hose, didn't watch television except on Sunday night when the Disney movie came on. I come from a time when the only "real" technology was the television...and rotary phones...and microwaves...and paper shredders. I guess I come from "old" technology.

Considering this, I think we've come a long way. Good intentions and great imagination brought about some awesome technology. BUT even so, we abused that technology and let ourselves get caught in the bubbles our current technology formed around us. We no longer meet face to face. We go on Facebook. We lock everything we have; especially our front doors. No longer is the garden hose a fun place to drink. And the street lights? Well, we don't even notice those because we're so wrapped up in our phones.

Have we advanced? Maybe. Have we lost ourselves to our advanced technology. I say YES! But I'm not going to preach about this. It only gets me going on a rant. And my face gets hot and red...not pretty at all.

So I really have no prediction for technology. I can only predict that technology, in fact, will advance. It must. Sadly, though, I predict we will completely lose ourselves in that technology. In the future we may not even recognize each other...except through our devices...
January 3, 2019 at 11:22am
January 3, 2019 at 11:22am
Are you an introvert or an extrovert?

Good question. I'd like to think I'm a true blue extrovert. I love people. I love being around people. I'm the first one to organize a party, or plan a gathering, or jump in for volunteer work. I love to be the center of attention. I love having people around me. Even strangers. For me, they won't be strangers too long. I'll talk to anyone. I'll do just about anything for just about anybody. I'd even lay down my life.

So I think that makes me an extrovert. Especially since I'm not at all shy. But I wasn't always like that. I spent my teenage years introverted and afraid to explore my world. When I look back I do feel some regret. But that's all in the past, and in the past it will stay.

I'm sure most people are like this. Shy sometimes and totally obnoxious other times. I believe we have a tendency to go back and forth between being introverted or extroverted. And that got me thinking. Mostly about celebrities. What about them? Any I know that are certified introverts? Any others I know that are true blue extroverts?

I decided to find out.

I started with the introverts. My good friend Google took me to an article that appeared in Inc. Magazine. Who would've thought this topic was important to the readers of Inc.? Anyway, here are five that stood out for me:

1. Abraham Lincoln
2. Albert Einstein
3. Steven Spielberg
4. J.K. Rowling
5. Elon Musk

Seemed surprising to me, but after I thought about it I decided that it made sense. I could honestly see how these people could be introverts.

Now, on to the extroverts. This time Google took me to an article in Time Magazine. Funny how extroverts are important to the readers of Time Magazine but not the introverts. Here are five that stood out for me:

1. Marie Antionette
2. Winston Churchill
3. Steve Jobs
4. Boris Yestsin
5. Muhammad Ali

None of these names surprised me. I can recognize extroverted qualities in each of them.

How do I feel about that? For me the bottom line is that whether a person is introverted or extroverted doesn't really matter. As long as that person can recognize one over the other and stay true to themselves then they can surely succeed in life.

So I'll keep organizing and planning and laughing among as many people as I can. I'll keep doing whatever I can for anyone who needs me. I'll keep smiling.

Here's to the extrovert in me!

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January 2, 2019 at 9:00pm
January 2, 2019 at 9:00pm
Write about your most memorable birthday

Ah, birthdays. That seems like a great topic for today. Jogged some memories for me and made me stop for some quiet reflection. And gosh, I feel old. I've had a whole lot of birthdays. Most of them I shared with my Dad.

I was born on my Dad's birthday. And good thing because my mom tells me she was really worried I'd come too late or too soon. She kept telling the doctor "This baby must come on June 10th. There's no way around it." I can just see the doctor scrunching his face at her and wondering how in the world he was going to pull that off. I'm positive something like that would normally never even enter the realm of possibility or importance for the maternity ward. But for this doctor it did. It was important. You see, he was stationed at Castle Air Force Base along with my Dad. And my Dad outranked him by quite a few stripes. So, yeah, it was important. Especially if the Sarge's wife was making the request. I can only imagine what was going through that doctor's head. And the fear! Honestly, how was he going to make that happen?

Well, he had a little help from upstairs. The Good Lord chose to send me into the world exactly on my Dad's birthday - June 10th. Should have been easy. A piece of cake. I was baby number five for my parents, so mom knew a thing or two about labor. She really didn't need any help. But help she got. And it wasn't from the doctor...

First of all it wasn't dad who drove mom calmly and safely to the hospital. Nope. It was in fact, my brothers. All of them. And my sister. They all piled into the car. It was Jimmy's job to get mom to the hospital. He shoved her into the front and then jumped behind the wheel, ready to peel out. It was Marty's job to keep mom calm. So he wound his arms around her body and neck keeping her pressed again the seat. It was Mikey's job to keep Marty calm so he kept yelling at Marty to "Stay calm!". It was Judy's job to pray. Like every other good catholic she whipped out her rosary. Every time the car rounded a curve she bellowed out another "Hail Mary!"

When they got to the hospital each one grabbed an arm or a leg and practically drug mom onto the maternity ward. Apparently everyone on the ward knew us because they all jumped in to help. The Sarge's wife had arrived to give birth.

So where was my dad in all of this? Well, he had been in a flight accident and had just returned to the states for surgery. He was down the hall on the surgical ward recuperating. In fact, he was watching the clock because mom hadn't arrived for her regular visit. He was wondering where she was. But he had a pretty good idea...

Dad was feeling antsy and decided to ask for a cigarette. But he was also hooked up to an IV and his nurse wouldn't let him smoke. Not until all the fluid in the IV was gone. Dad studied the slow drip. One little drip at a time. Just one little drip from a great big bag. Drip...drip...drip...He couldn't stand it. He opened the IV and let all the fluid flow into his vein. He emptied that bag in just under thirty seconds. Then he called for the nurse. She had no choice but to let him have a cigarette. She asked him to wait for a wheel chair. But no. The Sarge said he could walk. The nurse put her foot down and demanded he wait. She huffed off to find a wheel chair.

Do you think dad waited? Heck no! He walked right out of that room. Body cast and all!

But he didn't go out for a cigarette. He stumbled onto the next ward...the maternity ward. And guess what? He found mom stretched out on a gurney in the throes of labor. Now my dad had been to war. He'd seen his fair share of horror. But seeing his wife in labor was something he just couldn't handle. A doctor saw him faint and sag into his body cast.

The doctor shouted for a nurse...or two...or three. "Get this man onto a gurney! He's had surgery!" People all around jumped into action. The Sarge needed a gurney!

Luckily, the closest gurney was right next to my mom and it was empty. All the nurses on the ward gathered around dad and hoisted him onto that gurney. Doctors ran from everywhere to tend to my dad. "Where's his IV? How did he get here? And why isn't he in a wheel chair?" There was such a flurry of activity that no one noticed my poor mom still laboring on the gurney next to him. But my dad fixed that. He threw his arms up and let out a bellow. "My wife is having a baby!"

There was another flurry of activity as everyone in the room now turned their attention to my mom. Another bellow came from my dad. "Today is my birthday and this baby has to arrive today! TODAY! Do you hear me?" Every face in the room went white. Including my mom's.

Well, I think that's when the Good Lord nudged me into the world. He'd seen enough.

So if I had to pick a favorite birthday, I think it would be that one. My grand entrance into this world.

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January 1, 2019 at 10:06pm
January 1, 2019 at 10:06pm

What is your opinion of New Year’s Resolutions? Do you make them? Do you keep them?

Oh gosh, it's good to be back. It's been a while since I roamed the halls of writing.com. And it's been even longer since I participated in a contest or challenge. I'll have to say it feels sooooo good to be back!

But before I begin, first let me say...or yell...or shout HAPPY NEW YEAR to ALL of you wonderful and talented writers out there. I'm wishing you a very happy and prosperous year filled with lots of surprises and many happy tales.

And so the journey begins again. January 1st. A day of reflection and promise. Lessons learned and resolutions to do everything bigger and better in the coming year. Unless of course, it's a resolution to lose weight. Then it's everything smaller and tinier in the coming year! Ha ha ha. *Laugh*

It's only sentence number three and I already digress. Let's see...where was I in this first prompt of the new year and new challenge...???

Well, always best to start at the beginning. First things first as people like Mary Poppins always says. Maybe it wasn't actually her that said it, but you get where I'm going with this. *Wink*

Early this morning just as the first light of the day was beginning to make itself known I plunked myself down on the living room couch and sipped a hot cup of coffee with frothy cream. Good way to start any day if you ask me. I turned on the news and peered at the screen as the anchor's fuzzy red eyes peered back at me. Clearly she'd had one too many as she waited for the ball to drop. She was struggling to get her story out, but she was quick about it. I guessed it was because she was feeling green and needed a cool toilet to hug. Poor thing. Being hungover at work is a hard lesson to learn.

Anyway, her story was about New Year's resolutions. Aha! Resolutions! That was the prompt for the day so my ears perked up. I leaned in to hear what she had to say. Funny that I didn't just turn up the volume. Crazy. Why do people do that? Lean in and cock their heads so one ear faces the screen? Why not just turn up the volume? I really don't know. I wasn't interested in that. I was interested in what Miss Perky Anchor Lady had to say about resolutions. And do you know what she said? After an almost imperceptible hiccup she breathed the following words of wisdom: "Eight out of ten people around the world make resolutions every year. And within two weeks six out of those eight have given up. And what happens to the other two? Studies show that within two months they have given up too."

What? Are you kidding? That can't be true! *Shock*

I decided to find out. I consulted practically every source at my finger tips, but alas, I could find no hard and fast statistics. I did say "practically" because there was indeed one source that could tell me. But that source also wanted access to my bank account for its infinite wisdom. I really didn't think that was the best idea around.

So...I was on my own for stats but I did find something interesting...if you can believe wikipedia that is...

Ancient Babylonians made promises to their gods at the start of each year to return borrowed objects and pay their debts. In addition, the Romans began each year by making promises to the god Janus. Sound familiar? Janus...January? Well, you'd be right. It sounds familiar because the month of January is named for the god Janus.

So that means we have the Romans to thank for the promises we make each New Year.

But why do we do it? And why do we fail?

Well...that was interesting too. Another Google search told me that according to Wonderopolis a new year's resolution is a promise for the coming year. A goal to reach. Something to commit to. A promise...hmmm...well I guess that's well and fine. A promise is a promise is a promise. If you promise to do it you must get it done. Yeah, right. People have been failing on their promises even as far back as the Romans. People fail their promises all the time. But why?

Once again Google found an expert on the subject. This time from Lifehack. Their website noted ten of the most common reasons why people fail at their resolutions. Most of them were what you'd expect. Stuff like "You don't believe in yourself", and "You're in too much of a hurry", and "You don't track your progress". Heavy sigh from Yours Truly. We've all read it and heard it before. Heck, I think even the Romans knew this. *Yawn*

But...one thing caught my attention: "You know your WHAT but not your WHY." Now THAT'S something I hadn't heard before. And it made perfect sense! You know you want something and you know you can work to achieve it, but you have absolutely no idea WHY. Why do you want this thing? Why are you willing to work hard? Exactly WHY are you willing to put yourself through hell to achieve the end result? Most people never articulate their WHY.

I'll say it again. Most people never articulate their WHY. Even the Romans...never the WHY.

This was great insight for me. Especially since I gave up making resolutions a long time ago. But now? Now I can reflect. I can find some goals I want to achieve. And if I ask myself enough questions I can come up with my WHY. And if I can come up with my WHY then I have a better chance of making it stick.

So here's to reflection. Here's to new goals. Here's to the WHY. And here's to some sticky resolutions.

May 30, 2016 at 11:18am
May 30, 2016 at 11:18am
Last prompt of the month! Not sure yet what's going on for June, but thank you in advance for your participation this month and I owe some prizes...

Motivational Monday!

A number of popular artists or bands have members who were born on May 30th.

Pick one of your faves. Make them (even more) famous in your blog.

Oh my, my, my, I'm feeling just a little melancholy on this last day of our time together. I have enjoyed the entire month of May. I got to see just a glimpse into the thoughts and lives of some very talented people! Some are new to me and I'm looking forward to knowing them better. Some were old friends that I met last year during a blogging challenge. All are very special to me.

And on this day in the United States we are celebrating Memorial Day, a tribute to our armed forces and the brave people who serve and have served. Although this day marks the "official" start of the summer barbecuing season, it is also a day of remembrance and joy and tears. It's a very strange mixture of both happiness and sorrow.

Aside from that it also marks the end of May and the beginning of June. Who cares about that, you say. Well...I love June. My birthday is in June and I celebrate it all month long. Yes, ALL month. I've always been that way. It's like the universe offers surprises and wonders for the entire month. And I am always so grateful to the people who remember my actual birthday. You see, most people only know that my birthday is in June...I think that's because I just celebrate all month!

And speaking of birthdays, our very last prompt invites us to celebrate a pop artist or band member whose birthday is today! So I said to myself, "Self, whose birthday is today?" And I had to go looking. Google is fabulous for that. And I found lots and lots of popular people with birthdays today. But...I'm sad to say I didn't know any of them! I think it's because of my age...honestly, some days I feel as though I come from the stone age...anyway, back to the birthdays. I did, in fact, find one person who surprised me. That was Mel Blanc. All you "more mature" folks remember him as The Man With a Thousand Voices. He was the voice on Bugs Bunny, and Elmer Fudd, and Foghorn Leghorn, and a BUNCH of other cartoon characters! I practically grew up with his voice! He was truly a talented icon in the world of television. But you know what? He passed away in June...on my actual birthday. Now how ironic is that?
May 29, 2016 at 10:52pm
May 29, 2016 at 10:52pm
The Sunday News!

The big news was the WDC Quills ceremony happening earlier...did you watch it? Or at least check out the In-And Out? What'd you think?

So...I'm totally embarrassed to say this, BUT...I've heard about the Quills, and I know it's quite an honor to participate, and even bigger to win, and I also know there are some pretty talented people who can boast A Quill...but sadly to say that's the extent of my knowledge. *Sob* *Blush*

Isn't that terrible? Yes, I suppose it is. But even though I'm embarrassed I'm inspired to investigate and maybe...just maybe...I can participate. And Maybe...just maybe...I'll see all of you wonderful blogging buddies out there boasting about A Quill. *Smile*
May 28, 2016 at 6:06pm
May 28, 2016 at 6:06pm
Creation Saturday!

It's unseasonably warm where I'm spending the weekend, and I generally dislike discussing weather as a rule, so spice up the weather report for this weekend in your region. Weather happens; even if it's lousy, make it sound like something you would actually want to hear.

Here's a shout-out to everyone living in a sad soggy city or state. You know the kind I mean: Wet, cold, and damp. Gray skies and no chance of sun for the next thirty days or so. Yeah, you know the kind I mean. Well have I got an offer for you!

Come on out to my state and spend some time in The Land of No Rain...well, that's Rocklin, California to everybody else.

Bask in the heat of the sun's rays while lounging near a clear, chlorinated pool, and listening to the water lap gently against the sides. And sip a long, cool, iced tea from a huge glass stuffed with ice. Slather yourself with suntan lotion, SPF 50, to help promote a nice brown tan that's even all over. Languish in the heady scents of grilled chicken and corn on the cob. Slurp like a child as you bite into a thick, juicy wedge of watermelon.

Sounds pretty good? Well, meet me here in Rocklin!

And if you believe that, then I've got a swamp that's for sale...*Laugh*

Seriously, today is the official start of the barbecue season. Yes, there will be heady scents everywhere! No one will turn their stoves or ovens on until the close of the season. And that's in September. And everyone will pull out their skimpiest clothing because it's so freakin' hot. There will be pool parties galore and lots of mixed cocktails. There will be late nights outside gazing into the sky, and early morning exercise while it's still cool enough to move.

Yeah, the temperatures will reach 110 or even 115 by August. With no relief in sight. By September we'll all be complaining about the heat and the long, long drawn out summer. We just can't wait for Fall!

So there you have it. If you like hot, then come to my part of the world! *Smile*
May 27, 2016 at 9:27am
May 27, 2016 at 9:27am
Fun Fact Friday!

On this day in 1647, Alse Young, a resident of Windsor, Connecticut, was executed for being a "witch." It was the first recorded American execution of a "witch." Nowadays, obviously this wouldn't fly...but the idea of witchcraft is still very prevalent. What's your opinion on this?

Oh dear...witchcraft...yes, there are plenty of witches today. I understand they're not "evil" as we know it from the days of Salem. But the fact remains that witchcraft, either white or not, is something I just don't dabble in. I stay as far away as I can...I don't want to know about it, hear about it, or talk about it. So I guess that's my opinion...just stay away...
May 26, 2016 at 9:18am
May 26, 2016 at 9:18am
The Wildcard Round! Today's winner gets 5000 GPs.

What's on your summer reading list?

Summer reading...one of my favorite things to do. Especially when it's 110 degrees outside with no cooling in site. I love to grab some tea and sit under the misters turning page after page of a good mystery. Even chick lit. There are a few titles out there that I'd love to devour in an afternoon or two...stuff like "The Hypnotist's Love Story" by Liane Moriarty, "Me After You" by Jojo Myers, or "The Girl On The Train" by Paula Hawkins...yes, this would be lovely. BUT THIS SUMMER I get to read stuff like "Creating An Effective Plan To Maintain A Senior's Wealth During Retirement", and "Exploring Alternative Solutions To Mitigate Risk", and "Appropriate Strategies For Monetizing Assets Over The Retirement Period". Sounds like a whole lot of fun, doesn't it? Wouldn't you love to have my summer reading list?

Well, it's all for the good of professional development. I'm actually studying for a professional designation...RICP...Retirement Income Certified Professional. It's another arrow in my quiver and puts backing behind my expertise. And it won't be forever. Eventually, I'll get back to reading stuff for the pure joy of relaxation and entertainment.

So, I guess I'll start working on my summer reading list for 2017.
May 25, 2016 at 10:05am
May 25, 2016 at 10:05am
War Chest Wednesday!

Are you a cat person or a dog person? Explain why, or neither.

I laughed at our prompt this morning because it sounded a lot like Glenda The Good With on Wizard Of Oz..."Are you a good witch? Or a bad witch?" "Are you a cat person? Or a dog person?" Anyway, I think I'll hear Glenda The Good Witch in my head all day long now...with that little sing song voice of hers..."Are you a good witch? Or a bad witch?"

I grew up with pets of all kinds. Dogs, cats, hamsters, birds, and a host of other creepy crawly things. In fact, pets were so important in our household that my mom used to say that when she got to heaven she would be reunited with her dogs and her kitties. And I think I'm the same way too.

I consider my pets my kids. My daughter didn't always like that, but it is what it is. And today I'm pretty sure she also considers her kitty one of her kids. Currently we have a boston terrier named Maximillian Von Snausage. He's a typical boston, full of energy and is very self-important. His only bad quality is that he likes to mark things...furniture, bed spreads, rugs, plant stands...heavy sigh...I love that dog, but I'm so tired of the marking...

We also have a tabby cat named Fitzroy Gigglebottom. And he's a typical tabby. He's very independent and yowls at us at the crack of dawn. I love that cat, but once in a while I'd just like to sleep in.

I work from home and both Max and Fitz act as my office assistants. Max puts his front feet up on my desk and runs his nose along the edge of my desk looking for things to eat...he's very food driven. And if Max feels kitty is slacking on his job then Max chases the kitty all over my office. And that includes jumping on the furniture! This always seems to happen when I'm on the phone with a client. And Fitz? Well, Fitz bites all the reports I print for clients. And he jams his arm into the printer. I don't know why he's so fascinated with one of my printers...And if Fitz feels Max is slacking then he stomps up to Max and hits him across the nose and ears. Honestly, I feel like I work with two bad kids...see? My pets are my kids.

Do I prefer one over the other? Not really. They each have their separate qualities and quirks. They are each charming in their own way. And they are each frustrating and maddening in their own way.

At the end of the day I just cannot imagine my household without pets...especially my Max and my Fitz.

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