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Life with Jody--former Soldier (medically retired), writer (in training), and lots more
This blog tied for 3rd Place in the June 2016 "The Bard's Hall Contest

This is a non-specific blog about me and my life, the things I do, the problems I cause, and the trouble I manage to escape. Topics that may be covered include but are in no way limited to food, animals (especially farm animals), war, the military, photography, North Carolina, medical problems and medical care, religion, writing, and examples of extreme laziness.
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July 12, 2016 at 9:40pm
July 12, 2016 at 9:40pm
#887227
Howdy!

Game of Thrones Finds

I, as always, found some interesting, encouraging, and amusing reads while doing my reviews for G.o.T.

Steve adding writing to ntbk. did a lovely piece that was a letter to a soldier in "To The Patriot - Letter From Home.

I really liked Prof Moriarty 's piece with a surprise ending "Retribution.

FYI, I LOVE surprise endings!

Connieann is missing Mopsy wrote an intriguing series starting with "Anna's Journey Home. If I wasn't doing G.o.T., I'd totally read more! (Update: I got to go back and read the whole thing--great work.)

A FABULOUS piece about death interviewing to get another horseman is "Invalid Item by Acme ~ 10 year WdC Anniversary .

If you want to feel better about your luck, read a true story by Scarecrow in "Invalid Item.

A touching and well-told story is written by ember_rain in "Invalid Item.

As its getting close to bedtime, I'm getting more and more anxious because I read "Shadow Man. Gee, thanks, Legerdemain ! CREEEEEPYYYY!!!

A really fun and funny story I read by J. A. Buxton was "Fun With Felines. Delightful!

Angus wrote a disturbing but fascinating piece called "For The Love Of Oliver It's about child abuse, but done differently.

My Army buddy, TehKnuck just posted his first piece, "Alverad's Adventure and, as expected, I think it's awesome. That's why I invited him here! He's got talent!

Joy did a VERY interesting and educational article that had once been in a textbook. Impressive! Read "The Start of Television to learn some really fascinating stuff.

One of the most adorable things I've read lately was "Invalid Item where Michelle M "interviews" her cat. Awesome!

If you want to learn about writing fantasy and science fiction, Matt Bird MSci (Hons) AMRSC has several good articles.

Visiting Cousins

I have three cousins (a husband and wife and the husband's sister) who all drove 8 hours to come and visit little old me. How super sweet is THAT? They've helped me run a few errands and even took me to a doctor's appointment since I can't drive these days. (No, not from a DUI. If you haven't read, I have a mild traumatic brain injury from Iraq.)

I'm SO thankful my mom married my dad. Admittedly, if she hadn't, I wouldn't be here, so I wouldn't know not to be thankful. lol (Not being here would solve a myriad of problems, though. Anyway...) My dad's family is WONDERFUL! They are all genuinely sweet, kind people and I love them dearly. My mom, in my opinion, was the best one to come from her side. When she was in her coma, her only sibling, her brother, (who took three days to get there and he was only one state over, when my brother was on the other side of the world and got there in two days) said he wasn't going to come back for the service (which, because of my military issues wasn't going to be for several months after she died).

Thankfully, his wife is more sensible. I spoke with her and they came back. However, I tried to call them both about three months after the service and they'd both changed their numbers with out telling me. I never heard from them again and that was in 2007. My dad's side, as I mentioned, drove eight hours to come see me when I moved back to the mainland. And I've only been here two months. *Smile* They're great! Did I mention that? lol

Something Cool in Town

Oh, today I saw a wall downtown that I thought was super cool. It has permanently written something like "Things to do before I die" and in has lots of spaces on a chalk board type of part of the wall where permanently written numerous times is "Before I die, I want to _________" and then there's chalk so you can write what you want to do. Then it washes off in the rain and more folks can do it (or you can just erase one you don't like lol). Really neat idea! I'm glad I saw that!

That's about all. I've had this blog open for several days as I include things I've read that I enjoyed. But I'm getting tired of those stupid blog reminders, so I'm going to save this entry. Of course, without those stupid blog reminders, I might never have written again after the contest I started this for on The Bard's Hall. lol

TTFN

July 7, 2016 at 7:19pm
July 7, 2016 at 7:19pm
#886757
Howdy!

Blogging Contest


WOOHOO!!! I won (well, tied for) 3rd place in "The Bard's Hall Contest for their blogging contest! I can't believe it! Now I HAVE to learn how to add pictures and videos in the right way rather than just as a stupid looking link! *Smile*

Here are links to the other winners...

SPECIAL RECOGNITION IN BLOGGING:
BOOK
ABBA: Thank You for the Music  (18+)
a Collection of Short Stories based off lyrics by Sweden's Greatest Export
#2085735 by iKïyå§ama in Wonderland!


HONORABLE MENTION (TIE):
BOOK
Fading Nearer To Black  (13+)
AKA End of WDC Daze: Where I wrote once upon a time. No more room within.
#1300042 by Brian Is A Writer


and

BOOK
Give it 100 ... Say What?  (18+)
This is what's on my mind, what's on yours?
#2075144 by Intuey


3RD PLACE (TIE)
ME *Bigsmile*

and

BOOK
Reality Bytes ~ Adrie's Blog the I.  (GC)
Same Journal / Diary / Blog. New Title. It Fits. Adrie's Blog the I.
#2067989 by Whatas Enjoying Whoville


2ND PLACE
BOOK
♥Postcards From Adare & CUD ♥   (18+)
An Irish Dinosaur who loves vinyl and listens to the radio. I will NEVER EVER text.
#1602426 by ♥hOOvsie♥


and...drum roll, please...

1ST PLACE
BOOK
Mind the Shark's Teeth  (GC)
A look into my mind, the way I escape from reality.
#2087752 by SB Musing


Yea, Yeah, and Yay

So, I decided to look up and define you everyone "yea," "yeah," and "yay" because decades I've noticed confusion regarding these words. It's been so rampant, that even I've started getting confused after reading everyone else's mistakes. So...

Yea: noun--an affirmative answer (such as yea vs. nay votes)

Yeah: adverb-- informal yes

Yay: interjection--used as an exclamation of pleasure, approval, elation, or victory; adverb--so; by this amount (such as "It was yay big.")

I got the above from http://www.educationbug.org/a/yea-vs--yeah.html

http://grammarist.com/usage/yea-yeah-yay/ agrees saying:
"In modern English, yea is an affirmative reply or a yes vote. Yeah is a casual pronunciation of yes. Yay is an interjection expressing triumph, joy, or enthusiasm."

Don't like the answers? Blame Google. Actually, the dictionaries and the grammar sites tend to disagree. Interesting. I suspect the dictionaries are going by the changes in the language and popular usage, while the grammar sites are going by the original intent. It may be a while before they give up and decide people are going to write how they want. lol

Game of Thrones Gems


While reviewing for G.o.T., I read a story with a great ending written by Geoff . It's "Pillow Fight

mARi♥SigShopOpen had a great idea for a dialogue only piece with "Seeing, Hearing, Believing

If you want to learn more about developing a sci-fi world, Hatesmondays is your man and "How to make a sci-fi world is your resource! Very impressive for a 13-year-old kid! I totally forgot how old he was because his writing and ideas were so advanced!

Seshat did a couple of creative short stories called "The Shivering Spider. That's the first of the two.

A powerful and true story about a boy in Africa is "Kicky Was His Name by Life's a Beach... says Joey C .

"Nightmare is an interesting piece written by Amalie Cantor - We Got This! where the characters are emotions.

A SUPER CUTE story by Finn O'Flaherty was "Too Tired!

Well, that's all for now. I have to finish that pesky Folklore story. I'm writing about the fire in the mental hospital in 1948 that killed F. Scott Fitzgerald's wife, Zelda. Supposedly, you can still hear the screams of those who had been in restraints at the time of the fire.

TTFN!
July 4, 2016 at 9:35am
July 4, 2016 at 9:35am
#886443
Howdy!

Well, it's been 3 days, 1 hour, and 28 minutes since I updated my blog...or at least it had been when the automatic e-mail was sent telling me to do it. It keeps coming...day after day...alright, alright. I'll update my blog. The problem is, I don't really have much to say. I've been doing "Game of Thrones and otherwise, haven't really done anything of interest...grocery shopped, took some pictures for my photography class, blah, blah, blah. Yep, I'm just that fascinating. lol

G.o.T. is going, but I suspect we won't win since we were told 2 teams had chosen to battle 100 warriors and we were only doing 40 and 50 in ours and our participation (including mine) is kind of sketchy by some members. Well, it's about having fun, right? Ummm...winning makes it MORE fun. Oh well. On the good side, I've found some interesting writers. I'll tag some here.

ck1969 writes some interesting Twilight Zone kind of stuff. Check out "Invalid Item.
cmht writes some odd, but interesting pieces. "Invalid Item still makes me wonder...
DMCarroll also writes weird but interesting items. Here's a quote from the short story, "Nightmare in the home: "The temperature was dropping and the heater was running so I did not hear anything but the news when a hand appeared in front of my face and covered my mouth and nose."

Apparently I like stuff that is different. lol Well, I know I like twists and several of the pieces from the above writers have twists. Maybe that's why I liked them so much.

DMT - PASSED is working on a fantasy novel, "Invalid Item, that I'm really enjoying. That's not the title, but that's the, well, prologue from it. I'm not actually sure what the title is...if it even has one yet. *Smile* I read the first 11 chapters before I was told to move on to other writers. lol Her chapters aren't that long and are pretty interesting. She pays well for reviews, though--2,000 GPs!
Ben has a nice collection of Christian writing. Something of his that I'd previously read isn't about God, but I really loved was, "The Foolish Seahorse.
Damas is another writer whose interesting stuff I've enjoyed. Here's a quote from his short story, "Invalid Item: "He was a dirty devil in a muddy Hell, and if it meant that his brothers would sit among angels, Christian would gladly dine amongst the devils. However, Christian knew the Bible had gotten one thing wrong. Hell wasn’t fiery, Hell was muddy."
Keaton Foster: Know My Hell! is a wonderful writer who has actually published quite a few things, if you're interested. He also has some true stuff listed, which I really like. Check out "Deer Hunting With Dad. He also pays 1,000 GPs per review (at least he did for my 1000+ word reviews for G.o.T.) if you're feeling poor. lol
Lostwordsmith writes both poetry and short stories. I tend to lean toward short stories, but both of his directions are worthy of reading. I really liked the heart in his piece "Invalid Item.
ctkevink writes some great stuff--here's an example from his poem, "Invalid Item: "Goldfish hover motionless as if marionettes at rest, biding time" He hasn't written much, but it's real quality stuff!
I should have given examples of excellent parts of everyone's writing. Sorry.
✴Gervic__✍ is not only a poet, but he hosts the "Verdant Poetry Contest. He also has a piggy bank where you can donate GPs toward his upgrade in exchange for MBs, ribbons, and poetry reviews. Check it out at "Invalid Item! Great idea, Gervic!
Earthenware_Haven has a wide variety of items in her portfolio--anything from short stories to crosswords, to an essay on budgeting. Here's an example of one of her interesting poemy-story type things that I enjoyed"The Most Dangerous Kind..
keikoalvarez isn't someone I reviewed for G.o.T., but she's been extremely helpful to me and I've read some of her work and really enjoyed it. She's also published PROLIFICLY! Like Amazon only lists about half of her works. You can find a (I assume) complete list of her works at "List of Published Books by WdC Authors . She's another one who will sometime put a twist on her work and I love that. She writes mostly erotica, but has some other works too. FYI, I was reading her regular works...I haven't worked up the nerve to read erotica yet. lol

I encourage you to check out some of the above writers. There's a wide variety and they have some fascinating stuff.

Well, instead of writing about what I've read, I should probably get back to ACTUALLY reading...and reviewing, rather than just writing about it. lol

TTFN! (Ta-ta for now)
June 30, 2016 at 10:37pm
June 30, 2016 at 10:37pm
#886104
Howdy!

Test Results

Well, I'm tired today--too much excitement and too little sleep. lol I got some of the results of my Quantitative EEG back today. There was a LOT of info. I'm a little annoyed that I was told there's no need to take notes since everything he said was in the paperwork he gave me. First, no it wasn't. Second, his paperwork was a bit more complex than how he described it. Anyway...

Turns out that whole, "not really there" and "my brain is totally unaware" and kind of the lights are on but no body's home kind of thing (quotes for actual ways I've described this to friends or doctors before) that I say sometimes happens is NOT all in my imagination. I'll also sometimes say things like, "Oh. I forgot I was supposed to be listening." Really. I did. I'll also lose track of what I'm talking about easily. I'm forgetful...more than normal.

This can all probably be traced to the rocket attack in Iraq where they tried to kill me. I'm still waiting for the head of the neurology department at UCLA (yes, I'm in North Carolina, on the other side of the country) to read the rest of my EEG. But the guy who told me the results today said it was not PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) that was causing this. (There's other brain evidence of the PTSD, though. Still have that for sure.) He thinks it's the minor traumatic brain injury (mTBI) causing that lack of awareness I have sometimes.

He also said that's probably what's going on with my driving when sometimes I'll "get lost" even though I'm in familiar surroundings. I'll also not be able to recognize what a sign means...or even THAT I'm not able to recognize what a sign means. There's no emotion attached, I'm not scared, because I'm not really aware. My brain, because that's a different part, is still able to drive, but interpreting the road conditions is turned off. He said this is happening about 7 times every 3 minutes for at least a second or two. I can't recognize that (he said and I agree), but when I have the big episodes, that's what the problem probably is when I'm driving.

The good news is that when I do the upcoming neurofeedback (which requires different placement of electrodes since my brain isn't functioning right), he'll be able to monitor for those lapses in awareness and be better able to predict if/when I'm safe to drive. The Army, assuming it was an anxiety related thing (though I assured them it wasn't), told me to just start practicing driving in a parking lot to get my confidence back up. Not a good idea and it wouldn't have fixed the problem.

There was a lot of other stuff he said. My PTSD has hijacked my executive (higher) functioning and I'm literally not able to really plan much for the future at this time. It's not just that I don't want to see a future after the Army, I really can't. Also, my reward part of my brain is underactive, which is why I have to set weird goals and have to have bigger things to make me feel "rewarded." (Sorry, folks.)

He also said I'm constantly thinking. I can't do things just on auto-pilot like a lot of folks do. He said he doesn't really engage his brain until he gets to work. He can get up, go to the bathroom, shower, shave, etc. all without really thinking about it. I no longer can. I have to think about everything to the smallest detail, even how to get the top of the toothpaste, so by the end of the day, I'm exhausted. (I'm not sure if that's the PTSD or the mTBI part.)

Anyway, there was a lot more, but that's some of what he said. I feel better knowing there's actual proof for what I've been experiencing since I've actually had doctors tell me I was lying! Pretty much almost every complaint I have was explained in my Quantitative EEG. If you know someone suffering from PTSD or a possible mTBI, I strongly suggest one! Insurance didn't pay and it cost me almost $1000, but it was worth it! The best part was hearing he expects I'll probably be able to drive again one day!!!

Alrighty folks. That lasted longer than expected, so that will be all for today. Sorry if you were hoping for something more interesting...or at least lighter.. Well, I can give you a joke. (Let me Google really fast...)

An old Native American wanted a loan for $500.

The banker pulled out the loan application.
“What are you going to do with the money?” he asks the Indian.

“Buy Silver, make jewelry, and sell it,” was the response.

“What have you got for collateral?”

“Don’t know collateral,” replied the Indian

“Well that’s something of value that would cover the cost of the loan.
“Have you got any vehicles?”

“Yes. 1949 Chevy pickup,” replied the Indian

The banker shook his head, “How about livestock?”

“Yes, I have a horse,” replied the Indian

“How old is it?” the banker asks.

“Don’t know, has no teeth,” replies the Indian

Finally the banker decided to make the $500 loan.

Several weeks later the old man was back in the bank.
He pulled out a roll of bills, “Here to pay.” he said.
He then handed the banker the money to pay his loan off.

“What are you going to do with the rest of that money?” the banker asks.

“Put in hogan”, replied the Indian

“Why don’t you deposit it in my bank,” the banker asked.

“Don’t know deposit,” replied the Indian

“You put the money in our bank and we take care of it for you.
Whenever you want to use it, you can withdraw it.”

The old Indian leaned across the desk and asks the banker…
“What you got for collateral?”

TTFN! (Ta-ta for Now!)
June 29, 2016 at 9:17pm
June 29, 2016 at 9:17pm
#885981
Howdy!

Links

First off today, I'd like to give a shout out to some really awesome pages I've found. You guys probably already know about them, but still, I'm a newbie, so humor me:

GabriellaR45 has been going through some stuff, but she's getting things back together and will be again working with this wonderful group soon! I look forward to the great things she'll bring about!
FOLDER
Retired Founder, Rising Stars Program  (E)
Celebrating Emerging Writers from 2007-2018
#1177922 by GabriellaR45

There's also the following and a whole lot more connected...
"Invalid Item
"Invalid Item
"Invalid Item

Looking for a group to help you become and stay thin? Look no further... They're also approaching their goal to commission a MB. Help them reach their goal! They've already been encouraging me and we just met! *Bigsmile* Just drop a line to Patrece~So busy!!! if you have questions that aren't answered on their page.
FORUM
TLC Support Forum ~ Reach Your Goals!  (13+)
Lose weight, eat & live healthier, kick some old habits...Whatever your goals, we're here!
#2073942 by Patrece~So busy!!!


For this one, I had NO idea which link to pick! Basically the Newbie Academy is totally awesome! I LOVE THEM! There is SO MUCH INFORMATION! Even if you're not a newbie, there's a lot to see and learn. Some places are great for those who are more familiar with WdC to be able to meet and greet newbies. Others are just as useful for everyone, no matter who they are. Get with ~ Sisco ~ Back! for more information. For a list of everything they have to offer (warning, it's a TON), check out "Other NAG Links" on the following page:
FORUM
N.A.G. How-To Classroom  (13+)
Ask a question... Ask several questions... Answers available!
#1890536 by ~ Sisco ~ Back!


Sundries

Am I the only one that thinks those "[NOTICE] New Notebook Reply" messages multiply faster than drunk 2 rabbits in the back seat of a...well...Rabbit? Seriously. And yes, I know I can cancel them, but I might miss something! I, like most people, hate being left out! lol Then again, if I didn't get those notices, I'd get almost no e-mail at all. *Laugh*

That reminds me, the Livestock Conservancy http://www.LivestockConservancy.org is doing a workshop on raising rabbits soon. Let me go look that up before I forget...okay, I'm back. Did you miss me? (Probably not, ungrateful...KIDDING!) Anyway, for anyone interested, they will have a workshop on July 23 in West Virginia. I put it in my phone. Doesn't mean I'll go, but I might. *Smile* We'll see how I feel as it gets closer. Oh, wait...Game of Thrones...if I go, I'll have to sneak out...shhhh...

So, I almost made a WORLD CLASS BOO-BOO! I thought today was the 28th and Game of Thrones started Saturday! OMG! I would have died (in a desperate effort to escape the VERY painful death ahead of me)! Whew! I'm safe...behind schedule, but safe!

Funny, now that I changed my name to represent that I'm with the White Walkers team in G.o.T., I keep seeing my own name and thinking somehow that it's my fearless leader's, Shsssh, It's Just Me! . Seriously, like 6-8 times now. Weird. Why, yes I am. Thank you for noticing. Well, you're certainly welcome. Polite bunch, aren't I? Yes? No? Weird bunch, if nothing else. I'm a bunch of nuts. lol

I TOTALLY forgot AGAIN! (I'm adding this after I was done...like 45 min after.) Yesterday was my 1 month anniversary. THANK YOU WdC for being so wonderful! This has been a very challenging time in my life, but you've really been there to help me, even if it was sometimes only to distract me, but more often than not, to let me know I'm not alone. Thank you! Oh, and again, I DID make my 30 in 30 (30 Community Recognitions in my 1st 30 days)! Thanks for that too!!!

I have a headache. Not interesting enough for you? Well you try to be interesting with a headache...AGAIN KIDDING! I'm feeling feisty tonight! HAHAHAHA BRING IT! Even WITH the headache, I'll make you regret engaging me. Even if you only regret it because it was a waste of your precious time. *Laugh* I'll teach you to mess with me! I can waste time like NOBODY'S BUSINESS!!! Example: today's goal was to write my CLASH story and here it is, 9 pm and I haven't even been to the CLASH page yet. TIME WASTING QUEEN...and the impressive thing is I was on WdC almost the entire time! Yep, like 10 hrs and no CLASH story. I rule. lol

Well, this has been 5 minutes of your life you'll never get back. See? WORLD CLASS time waster...mine AND yours...sucker! Hahaha

Oh, before I go, one piece of trivia I recently learned...the number 1 answer for the password question, "What's your favorite food?" Nah. I shouldn't say. Well, if you were a 'bad guy,' you'd probably already know. Do you even care? Huh? No answer...oh all right, I'll tell you...pizza. Now change your question or at least the answer...and start hating pizza so you don't get confused as to why you changed the answer. *Bigsmile*

TTFN!
June 28, 2016 at 10:39pm
June 28, 2016 at 10:39pm
#885906
Howdy!

Puppy Breath

Ahhh...puppy breath...so cute...unless your apartment smells like that, then it's just a bit disturbing, especially if it STILL smells like that after airing it out for several hours. Even more disturbing when your cousin agrees that it's not your imagination. Greaaat...I was kind of hoping this was a olfactory hallucination. I've had them before. When I get REALLY upset about Iraq, I'll smell the cologne of the head medic. (The 1st time it happened, I didn't actually know it wasn't real. Weird.)

The good thing about the cologne, it smells nicer than the puppy breath which gets old after a day or so. (And the cologne smell never lasts that long.) The good side of the puppy breath, I'm not being totally overwhelmed and losing 100% control of what's going on with me. Also, good that it's apparently real...or is that bad...kind of a tough call in this case.

Oh well, at least it's not smelling like the other end of the puppy. lol The weird thing about my apartment is all the animal smells when they repainted and replaced the carpet. It also smells like pets, though my cousin said it smelled a bit like wet dog. Well, what do you do? I mean besides often have all the windows and door open, burn scented candles, and spray everything down with Fabreeze...

Colors

I was recently renewing my interest in something I'd looked up before, favorite colors. FYI, the #1 favorite color in the WORLD is blue. Wow! On the good side, I'm normal in that respect. The #2 depends on several factors. Do you mean 2nd favorite color or the #2 most common favorite color? If you mean #2 most common favorite color, if you're a guy in America, it's green. (Which happens to be my 2nd favorite color.) If you're a girl, it's purple. Though, oddly, the 2nd favorite color for all of America is green. Also interesting, a lot of guys voted for green and some girls did too. But though a lot of girls voted for purple, no guys did. lol The 2nd favorite color across the world depends on the country you live in. Here, as I said, it's green. I've now forgotten, but Japan or China (or maybe both), it was red...no surprise there. lol

Further on colors, the least favorite colors were orange and brown. Hmmm...narrow miss for Halloween, there. Hahaha...or should I say, Bwahahaha... Also, the colors that "feel cheap" are orange and yellow. I'd like to say here, I owned a yellow Hummer H3 and it was NOT cheap...to buy OR to run...thus I OWNED, not OWN. lol Anyway, to sum up, if buying a friend a colored gift and you're not sure which color to choose, go with blue (assuming you don't already know their favorite color, which you should if you're bothering to buy them a colored gift, but that's a comment for another post lol). If blue is sold out (since it's the #1 choice), go with green if it's for a guy and purple if it's for a girl. Above all things, unless you know for SURE they'd like it, stay away from brown (disliked color), yellow (looks cheap), and most especially, orange (disliked AND looks cheap). You can thank me with an awardicon on this blog entry. Can you even do that for a single entry? I don't know, but I challenge you all to try! lol

Red Squiggles

Darn it! Those...wait, they're gone. You know those red squiggly lines you get under misspelled words? They will sometimes start showing up when I spell something wrong and then just not go away...everything I type after that will have a line under it for literally paragraphs. VERY annoying, not to mention, 100% impossible to tell when something is misspelled after that. *Pthb* If anyone has a solution, besides apparently complaining about them, lol, I'd love to hear it.

Photography Class

We have to turn in our best 3 pictures each week for a photography class I'm taking. He then chooses his favorites and shows the class. This was the 1st week he did it and one of mine was chosen. *Smile* Very proud, thank you. Of course, that means it's all down hill from here. *Laugh*

On a totally unrelated note, besides the fact that I just tried to do it again, but does anyone know why I can't seem to make the face emoticons work here? Well, they may work if I spell them out, but I tried to just partially type them and then click on the word to have it finish, but it just sends my cursor to the top and doesn't finish the word. Annoying...

ANYWAY, back to photography class...I don't feel like I'm learning as much as I'd like. He's putting the info out, but I don't seem to be getting it. I'll claim the minor traumatic brain injury (mTBI) from Iraq again. But seriously, it's frustrating. I literally took HUNDREDS of pictures in the last week, nearly 1000 since the class started a couple of weeks ago (far more than most of my classmates), I've read a lot of the manual, I've gotten some individual help, and I've even taken an additional beginner's class at the camera shop I bought my camera at. It was only a couple of hours, but still, I feel like I should have a better handle on things than I do. I can take nice pictures because I have a nice camera. But once I take it off Auto, all bets are off. I hate that. I think I'm going to try and take the class again and I'll take the shorter class a couple more times, but I may have to end up paying for individual lessons, unfortunately. Stupid brain. On the good side, I DO have a pretty nice camera, even if I don't know how to use it. lol

Alright. Enough annoying computer issues and whining about other things for one day. TTFN!
June 27, 2016 at 8:20pm
June 27, 2016 at 8:20pm
#885808
Howdy!

Today was exciting for my blog. We were welcomed to the world of blogging by "June 2016 Blogging Bliss Newsletter How nice! *Smile*

Thank You Badge

I just discovered the Thank You badge is new and THAT'S why no one has one. I just thought you guys were all a bunch of ingrates. HAHAHAHA!!! With that in mind (whichever "that" you prefer), I'd like to send out a call for send Thank You badges! Use them! Send them! Love them! They are the perfect way to thank someone for just about anything on here! *Bigsmile* Isn't being grateful wonderful? Who are you grateful for today?

Here's a lovely quote about gratitude:

Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul.
by Henry Ward Beecher

I couldn't pick just one, so...

Gratitude is the most exquisite form of courtesy.
by Jacques Maritain

Send someone you're grateful for a Thank You badge, or at least a thank you e-mail or IM. Who has touched you recently? And let this extend beyond WdC. Who should you call, visit, or drop a note to in your personal world? I wish I'd told my parents thank you more before they died. Not just thank you for passing the salt (I did that), but a sincere thank you for being the best parents I could ask for!

G.o.T.

Well, "Game of Thrones is starting soon. I'm scared because I don't feel like I have a good handle on the rules and plans. It's hard for me to keep everything in my head at the same time. *Frown* I don't want to mess up and let my team down. (This is why I HATE team sports. I hate being responsible for other folks losing. Weirdly, I'm never responsible for them winning. lol) Oh well, I got myself into this. I will just ask lots of questions. 'It's better to open your mouth and have people know you're a fool than to keep quiet and have them call you one'...that's how the saying goes, right? lol

Emoticons

So, I was exploring the emoticons and found some really cute ones! (At least they're cute to me...)

*Duck* *Penguin* *BackpackB* *Flipflops7* *Sheriff* *Teddy* *Books1* *Martian* *CupcakeV* *ButterflyV* *Cheshire* *Fairy3* (Attempted to enlarged to enhance cuteness factor...but couldn't figure it out for some reason. Also, no matter how many spaces you put between them, they still bunch together for some reason. Maybe they're cold...)

Okay, these probably aren't new or interesting to you, but I'm new here, so give me a break. Pretend, will you? *Wink*

Visiting Family

Well, my cousins called and all want to come visit. I didn't know a polite way of saying I'd rather them not for a while as I'm still kind of worn out from my friend. Anything out of the ordinary is stressful to me since Iraq. Basically, it was like Groundhog's Day there, until something changed. And change was always bad. Someone died. Otherwise, everything was the same. I began to hate change--not uncommon for folks with PTSD.

Anyway, 1 cousin is coming tomorrow, and she's coming back with 2 others on Friday (they all live about an hour away) then from July 9-11, 3 others are driving down from Ohio. Geez, people! I am NOT that special! lol It's been several years since I've seen the ones in Ohio and literally decades since the ones closer to where I've moved. I guess that's why everyone wants to visit. I've been living in Hawaii, Alaska, and Iraq for the last 6 years. Oh well, I'm sure the 'new Jody smell' will wear off soon enough. *Laugh* (And yes, I know I'm supposed to be writing out all those cousin numbers, but whatever. *Music1* It's my blog and I'll do what I want to, do what I want to, do what I want to... *Music2*

Alrighty folks (yes, I know that's not a real word), I REALLY need to get to checking my actual e-mail since I've been avoiding it for the last week or so in favor of WdC e-mail. I also have to send my photography homework in tonight. It's supposed to be tomorrow, but I'll be busy all day. I haven't seen my cousin in decades and she's staying over 6 hrs. No idea what we'll talk about. Nah, who am I kidding, I once talked for over 8 hrs without a single response from my sick boyfriend because he said he just wanted to hear my voice. Now THAT'S TALENT! She's a talker too, so I'm sure we'll be fine. *Bigsmile* I also have to study up and finish making notes on my G.o.T. rules. I have to do some reviews since I realized too late the reason I hadn't joined "Simply Positive Review Forum sooner is that they REQUIRE 6 reviews a week. Sure, I do that even when I say I'm going to take a break from reviewing, but still. I'd rather it be all my choice. Oh well. Like I said, I do it anyway. *Smile* I also have to write my story for "CLASH! - CLOSED before G.o.T. starts as I apparently won't have time after that. Umm...there was one more thing...dang it! Oh well. Either I'll figure it out or I won't and then I'll figure it out when I get into trouble with someone. *Laugh*

TTFN
June 26, 2016 at 10:29pm
June 26, 2016 at 10:29pm
#885730

Howdy!

I thought I'd try something different--adding headings for interest. lol

DOH!

My biggest *FacePalm* to date! At least here on WdC... I meant to send a Thank You badge to someone who had done an exceptionally thorough and thoughtful review for me. Instead I sent them a Secret Admirer badge. DOH! And it wasn't even someone I sort of know here. It was a total stranger. I REALLY hope he doesn't have a jealous wife!!! lol

30 in 30

So, being prone to doing ridiculous things without any thought as to why or how (part of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), yesterday I decided to try to get to 30 Community Recognitions before my 30th day on WdC. It seemed easy enough. After all, I was already at 21 without even trying and I still had 3 days left. *Bigsmile* But then, after several hours online today, I realized it might not happen. (Cue impending doom music...)

I had to think fast. And since I can't do that, I decided to cough up a WHOLE lot of GPs to buy...er...get thanked by a bunch of groups through MBs. *Wink* Then I discovered, not only did some folks not respond immediately. (The nerve of folks who work, or even worse, SLEEP while I'm trying to bleed them dry for MBs! lol) Anyway, it turns out a lot of folks don't even send them out within a week. Hmmm...who knew? Well, probably everyone on WdC but me.

Well, to solve this impending disaster, I posted on my newsfeed and MBs started pouring in! Well, maybe not POURING, but still, a steady trickle. And, I'm proud to say that all but one were earned-ish one way or another. (All ways were done with my clothes on, just to be clear.) Well, I'm also proud to say that Jellyfish was kind enough to donate one just out of the goodness of her heart! (At least I don't think she runs anything I donated to.) What a sweetheart! I sent her one back. *Bigsmile* FYI, I made my 30 CR in my 1st 30 days here on WdC goal.

Thank You Badges--We Need to Give Out More!

I'd also like to give a special thanks to 🌓 HuntersMoon for giving me my first (and still only) Thank You badge. I thought that was a great badge and when I started trying to hand out badges, I decided to look to see what folks didn't have, naturally. Well, it turns out a LOT of folks didn't have the Thank You badge! I mean a LOT of folks! WHAT A SHAME! We all (or very mostly) do things that deserve a thanks. I've now given out 17.5 of them. I say .5 because one was accidentally a Secret Admirer badge. And I just erased the rest of that whole story because I realized I'd already told you. I swear this forgetfulness can cause some entertainment malfunctions if I'm not careful! Anyway, so I MEANT to send out 18.

For anyone who is interested, I have 28 days here...wait, 29 because there are 31 days in May. Huh. Anyway, 29 days here and I have given out 19 badges, written 30 things for my portfolio, done 111 reviews (not counting product reviews...not sure how many but maybe 5-6 tops), and have 34 Community Recognitions. Not bad for a newbie! *Bigsmile* I just realized I've not given out ANY awardicons and I've certainly read some stuff that deserved them. I should focus more on that in the future. Shame on me! And I've received several, myself!

My PTSD

For anyone who hasn't put the pieces together yet, I'm getting medically retired from the Army with, among other things, PTSD. I'd like to share a song with you that pretty accurately describes what was going on when I first came back from war and for a couple of years after. It's getting better now thanks to a lot of treatment and medication. FYI, I was in Iraq, not Vietnam, but the principle is the same. Thanks for taking the time to listen to this song.

"Still in Saigon" by Charlie Daniels Band https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_qV4IVBWjnI

The song ends before "Taps" starts playing, but I really liked that link with the Vietnam photos. Thankfully, no one has had reason to call me a killer like in the song, but I did get booed in NYC, of all places, when I'd just gotten back. One of the most accurate lines of the song, at least for me, is "Damned if I know who I am. There was only one place I was sure."

It's been 5 years and I still prefer to sleep with a knife by me. Though I no longer need it hidden under my pillow and need to practice opening it secretly several times before going to sleep. I now will wear civilian clothes and go off the military instillation (thankfully, since I'm getting the boot). I also no longer answer the door with my knife opened and hidden behind the door. There's been a lot of improvements. But I still have a long way to go... Thanks for being here with me for part of the journey.

TTFN!

June 25, 2016 at 9:05pm
June 25, 2016 at 9:05pm
#885648
Howdy once again!

Well, after some consideration, I'm changing my mind on this whole "buying badges" thing. Granted, I've changed it already and then forgotten (minor traumatic brain injury and all), but I'm again changing it and maybe this time it will stick. *Smile* I previously had a moral objection to the idea that I could pay money and magically receive a badge. Keep in mind, I was doing it anyway, but still, there was a moral objection to my own behavior...not the first time this has happened and not the last, I'm sure. lol

ANYWAY, several people have brought to my attention that I'm not "buying" a badge but that the group is "rewarding" me for my "donation." I can see this. It makes sense and makes me feel a lot better about my behavior. Hahaha I just hope I can continue to hold on to that.

Unexpected Topic: When to use "onto" vs. "on to." I just had to look it up for the last sentence in my previous paragraph, so I thought I'd enlighten anyone who didn't already know. *Smile*


The following is from http://data.grammarbook.com/blog/definitions/on-to-vs-onto/.

On to vs. Onto
Rule 1: In general, use onto as one word to mean “on top of,” “to a position on,” “upon.”

Examples:
He climbed onto the roof.
Let’s step onto the dance floor.

Rule 2: Use onto when you mean “fully aware of,” “informed about.”

Examples:
I’m onto your scheme.
We canceled Julia’s surprise party when we realized she was onto our plan.

Rule 3: Use on to, two words, when on is part of the verb.

Examples:
We canceled Julia’s surprise party when we realized she caught on to our plan. (caught on is a phrasal verb)
I’m going to log on to the computer. (log on is a phrasal verb)

I'm pretty sure "hold on" is a phrasal verb, thus I believe I used it correctly. Well, mostly, I don't think it fits rules 1 and 2, so it must be 3. But I've been wrong about grammar once or twice before, so...lol But I'm sure the rules are right, even if my usage of them isn't always. *Bigsmile*


Back on track...where was I going with this today...

"Drive-by Ratings" is what I call when folks just give a low rating and leave no feedback. Oddly, I've never had a drive-by rating that was high. Also, all of mine but one were done by a certain individual who, conveniently, had all their own stuff set to private. I think they just like raining on people's parades. *Pthb* Thankfully, someone (and I can't remember who *Frown* ) taught me about the Advanced button so I could set everything to "Rating Requires Review." Whew! Now that meany can't bother me anymore. I encourage everyone to do the same!

Well, my friend, Karen, is gone. She's a wonderful person and it was sweet of her to drive almost 3 hours (one way) to come visit me and to make sure I was doing okay. She also dropped off some supplies like blankets since I didn't think to bring any being that I moved here in May and I assumed it would be warm. But it's the mountains, so not so much...at least not at night. lol Anyway, I met Karen when she was taking care of my mom one of the times my mom was hospitalized before she died. Karen was the best nurse there! She was new to the area and we became friends. That was nearly 20 years ago. She's one of the nicest people I know. *Bigsmile*

***Update***
There was some confusion about where the Advanced button is to prevent drive-by raters and this is too important to let go, in my opinion. You can't do it for your whole portfolio at once. You have to set it for each individual piece of writing.

When you are in edit mode, look below the part where you set the rating, genre, etc. and just below the block you use to write the key search words. You'll see in big letters "+ EDIT POINTS" and then "+ADVANCED" just above the copyright block of writing. Click the Advanced button and the third one down probably says, "Unrestricted Rating and Reviewing." You want to set this to "Rating Requires Review" or something else to prevent those drive-by raters. GOOD LUCK and let me know if you still need help finding this!
June 24, 2016 at 9:33pm
June 24, 2016 at 9:33pm
#885564
Howdy!

Word for the day: Shoals.

My friend, Karen, and I were driving and we saw a sign for "Long Shoals" which brought up the question (for her, I already knew...or that I did), "What does 'shoals' mean?" I won't bore you with my 'close, but no cigar' answer, but at least according to Google, this is a shoal. Noun: (Also a verb, but I assume Long Shoals, Mussle Shoals, and Saluda Shoals all intend for 'shoals' to be a noun.) 1. An area of shallow water, especially as a navigational hazard. A submerged sandbank visible at low water. Synonyms: sandbank, bank, mudbank, bar, sandbar, shelf, cay, key "At low tide we go out on the shoal to look for fiddler crabs" 2. A hidden danger or difficulty. "He alone could safely guide them through Hollywood's treacherous shoals"

I like #2. Note for future writing. *Bigsmile*

Today Karen and I went to a farm to see some endangered farm animals and to let me practice taking pictures of them. I have to take pictures daily for my photography class and since my medium-term goal is to be able to take pictures of the endangered livestock that don't have pictures and send them to http://www.LivestockConservancy.org to post, it seemed like a natural thing to do--call up perfect strangers and ask if I could photograph their chickens. lol Weirdly, they said yes. They also teased me about having the courage to call them, but hey, I got what I wanted. Plus, they're the weirdos who let some stranger come photograph their animals.

So, they had a couple of different kinds of endangered poultry. The chicken I went out to see was the cochin. https://livestockconservancy.org/index.php/heritage/internal/cochin Cochin chickens are on the Recovering list, meaning they are still being monitored, but have gone beyond the minimal numbers required to be in official need of real conservation. They also had some Araucana which are being studied to see if they also need to be on the list or if they still have sufficient numbers.

They also had a pair of adult turkeys and 5 babies, called poults. The royal palm turkey, the kind they had, is on the Threatened list, meaning fewer than 1,000 breeding birds in the United States, with seven or fewer primary breeding flocks, and estimated global population less than 5,000. https://livestockconservancy.org/index.php/heritage/internal/royalpalm

For those that are interested, the Livestock Conservancy conservation priority divisions are Critical, Threatened, Watch, Recovering, and Study. Keep in mind, poultry have different parameters from rabbits and still different from regular barnyard animals like horses, donkeys, cows, sheep, goats, and pigs. To be considered in critical need of conservation for poultry, there are fewer than 500 breeding birds in the United States, with five or fewer primary breeding flocks (50 birds or more), and estimated global population less than 1,000. There are 11 breeds of chickens, 2 breeds of ducks, 4 breeds of geese, and 1 breed of turkey that falls into this category. To be defined in the Watch category, poultry would be fewer than 5,000 breeding birds in the United States, with ten or fewer primary breeding flocks, and estimated global population less than 10,000. Also included are breeds with genetic or numerical concerns or limited geographic distribution.

If anyone is interested in the requirements to make the Critical list for rabbits, it's fewer than 50 annual registrations in the United States and estimated global population less than 500. Thankfully, there's only one rabbit on the Critical list. (There are others on the Threatened, Watch, Recovering, and Study lists.) Yes, I know, it's very ironic that anything that can "breed like rabbits" can actually be at risk for becoming extinct, but it's true.

For the other livestock to be considered Critical, there are fewer than 200 annual registrations in the United States and estimated global population less than 2,000. There are 9 cattle, 2 donkeys, 2 goats, 11 horses, 3 pigs, and 5 sheep breeds that are considered Critical. Sadly, there are animals on all the other lists too. There are nearly 200 breeds of livestock that are at risk for extinction. As you see, I'm a little passionate about this...and I don't even have a farm. *Bigsmile*

I'm not saying we need millions of each of these breeds, but the breeds we use today in "factory farms" aren't the breeds we used 100 years ago. I'm not here to say we shouldn't create new breeds to benefit us. I'm simply saying that if it's not what we used 100 years ago, it's naive to think it's what we'll be eating in 100 years from now. We need to save all the "heritage" breeds so that when these current breeds no longer suit our purposes, we will still have genetics to draw from to create what we need next. Now, how animals are TREATED on factory farms is a whole other issue we won't get into here. Let me just say that I eat meat, but I don't want it to suffer before hand.

ANYWAY, I've gotten WAY off track! Basically, I got to take pictures of some endangered poultry today and I met a really nice farming couple. FYI, poultry are not particularly inclined to hold still, even if you ask nicely. A LOT of my shots are blurry...AKA "action shots." lol I really need to work on that whole "shutter speed" thing to fix that. Well, that's why we practiced today. All in all, it was a good day...no, make that a really good day. We stopped for boiled peanuts on the way home! *Bigsmile*

TTFN! (Ta-ta For Now!)

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