Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Procrastinate Like a Pro

After beating myself up all morning, I finally decided to procrastinate prepare a blog entry by watching YouTube videos. I found this one, and just had to share with you.

I felt a little guilty after procrastinating so much this morning, so I watched this video on the three types of procrastinators (I'm either type 2 or type 3, can't decide).

Here's the second video, in case you really do want to stop procrastinating. Don't blame me if you go on great things.

Have a great hump day!

Monday, August 29, 2011

A Break From Disaster

Today, instead of my usual FYI Monday, I’m going to go the easy route and post a video. With earthquakes, hurricanes and everything else that’s been happening, I thought it was a good time to remind us of how beautiful nature really can be.

Where are your favorite places to enjoy natural beauty? Does the outdoors inspire you? Energize you? Make you wish you were in the city?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Warrior Dachshunds In Training

Last week, I brought you footage from the cat’s secret training camp. Not to be outdone, the dogs have set up some training areas of their own. Here is one of them. As you can see this is primarily a dachshund camp. It appears there are facilities set up for the training needs of different breeds. If I can verify this, I’ll let you know.

The dogs are also working on secret weapons--or is this simply an exercise machine. This video was smuggled out of an underground research and development facility. I apologize for the commercial at the beginning. That’s there to help disguise the actual subject of the video.

I’m reporting all this in the deepest of secrecy. Please don’t tell the cats!

Until next time,

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Advice of Dubious Wisdom

Lucy had to go to school today, so I’m taking her place for today. I don’t have Lucy’s training and  savvy, but I’ll do my best. Without further ado, here is my advice to you:

Don’t drive with your eyes closed.

Don’t get in the car with a serial killer.

Don’t play an electric radio in the shower.

Don’t swim with sharks.
Don’t eat moldy cheese.
Don’t play tag with a bear.
Don’t play chicken with an 18 wheeler.

    Don’t drive fast directly toward the edge of the Grand Canyon.
    Don’t go outside in your underwear because you hear a strange noise.
    Don’t eat at that restaurant. You know the one.
    Don’t forget to come back Friday for something cute and/or funny.

    Do have a great hump day!


    Special thanks to Gina Delgardo, who gave me the idea for this post. :) 

    Monday, August 22, 2011

    The Scoff-and-You-Will-Regret-it Fairy

    What do you think of when you hear the word “allergy”? Do you think of runny nose? Rash? A medical emergency?

    What do you think when you hear “food allergy”? 

    I know what I thought. I was skeptical. Yeah, there is the odd person with a peanut or strawberry allergy, and I knew from experience some babies don’t tolerate milk. But to be allergic to food just seemed counter-intuitive. I’d never heard of it before, and suddenly it seemed everybody had it. I tried to be open minded. After all, one of my daughters doesn’t tolerate pork. At all. We just never called it an allergy. I hate being small-minded, so I tried to believe suddenly all these people were allergic to stuff that keeps us alive, but it was difficult.

    And then my granddaughter was diagnosed with a dairy allergy. She got off dairy, and her health vastly improved. More energy, less abdominal swelling, no more dark circles under her eyes, no more exema, even her immune system worked better. It wasn’t easy for my daughter and son-in-law, but they managed, and I was suddenly a firm believer in food allergies. But the scoff-and-you-will-regret-it fairy wasn’t finished yet. 

    Recently, I went to my doctor. My weight had shot up with no real reason. I was having times when my asthma was totally out of control. My stomach would swell and be tender. See where this is going? On the way home from his office, I realized what all that added up to. With one exception, I’ve been dairy free for a month. The exception was the day before my birthday. I had homemade cherry cheesecake after lunch and homemade ice cream later that afternoon. I was so sick. I swelled up all over, I was irritable,  I got dark circles under my eyes that almost looked like I had two black eyes.  Forty-eight hours later, I’m feeling much better, and my scoffing days are over. Food allergies exist, are probably under diagnosed, and can make a huge difference in the quality of a person’s life.

    Was I right in my perception that this is a new thing? Possibly. It may be that food allergies just weren’t diagnosed even a few years ago. It’s also possible that because our environment has changed so drastically over the last hundred years that we’re triggering allergies that once were extremely rare. Most likely, the reality is that it is a combination of the two.

    Lactose intolerance is NOT the same thing as an allergy, by the way. Lactose intolerance is the inability to digest lactose—the sugar in milk. Becoming lactose intolerant happens to people as they grow up and age. While intolerance can cause some of the same symptoms, it is not really an allergy. People who are lactose intolerant can drink buttermilk, eat yogurt, and lactose-free milks. 

    Those of us with an actual allergy cannot tolerate milk in ANY form, even hidden in bread and other baked goods. Dairy allergy, like all allergies can be serious. Some people are so severely sensitive that they can go into anaphylaxis and even die. And no, not everybody grows out of it. It can be dealt with, though, the diet just has to be watched closely. There are several good websites for children with dairy allergies, but not very many for adults. One good one I use a lot is Go Dairy Free. Lots of information, and even help with eating out. 

    So, I guess that’s what I get for doubting. Food allergies are real and can be very serious. Trust me. I've met the scoff-and-you'll regret it fairy. I learned my lesson.

    Have a good week!


    Friday, August 19, 2011

    Warrior Kitties

    In an undisclosed location, cats gather their troops. Here, at this elite training facility, cats become soldiers to go fight in the war with the dogs. This smuggled video shows amazing feats many would have deemed impossible. Are the dogs going to be able to deal with super cats?  

    Did you know cats could do these things? Have you been trained in martial arts? Are you the one who snuck this video out? Is the release of this video just a tactic to scare the dogs?

    What are your plans for the weekend? I'm going to my mom's to celebrate my birthday (on Sunday). Do you believe I'll be 29? Boy, are you easy :)

    Have a wonderful weekend!


    Wednesday, August 17, 2011

    Heart Melting Linkage

    Do you love animals? If so, this blog is for you. Here are some of the best links I could find. I’m sure there are many others—feel free to share yours in a comment.

    The animal organizations that come to mind are the Humane Society and the ASPCA. Their tireless work on behalf of animals is legendary.

    Less well known are organizations that rescue animals from disaster areas. Possibly the best known of these is Noah’s Wish. This, and other, organizations go into dangerous areas in the aftermath of floods, tornados, and other disasters in an effort to rescue animals. Here’s to the brave rescuers!

    If you’d like to have a pet, or support an organization that works tirelessly to find forever families for animals that would otherwise be euthanized, Petfinders is the biggest and best known. Their website is a central place where large and small rescue operations can show off the cute and wonderful creatures and melt your heart.

    There are rescue organizations for specific types of animals like the National Cat Protection Society. And quite a few for different breeds of dogs, like beagles. And dachshunds.

    Sugar and Cujo recommend visiting these sites and letting your conscience and heart be your guide.

    Have a great hump day!


    Monday, August 15, 2011

    Strangest Animal Ever?

    The Platypus is one of my favorite animals. Not that I really want to get up close and personal—they have sharp claws, and the males are venomous. They are incredible animals, though, and under the proper conditions (behind glass, maybe) I’d be happy to examine one closely.

    From the looks of the platypus, you could almost believe they are some type of mythical chimera come to life. In the original Greek myth, the chimera had a lion’s head, a goat’s body, and a snake’s tail. And it breathed fire. The platypus has a bill like a duck, a tail that looks like a beavers, and claws that resemble a badger—on webbed feet. What a strange critter. But then, I like strange critters.

    Other strange facts about the platypus is that they are mammals, which means the mother produces milk for the offspring. All but one other mammal—the echidna—gives birth to live babies. The platypus and echidna lay eggs. The platypus is furry, and, as I said earlier, the males are venomous. They have stingers in their heels.

    It’s odd, and very cool. And only found in eastern Australia and Tasmania. Want more info? Go here.
    What’s the strangest animal you’ve ever seen? Do you believe animals like the Loch Ness monster and Sasquatch could exist? Would you like to see a supposed mythical creature in real life?

    Friday, August 12, 2011

    Breaking News! Cats vs.. Dogs!

    Breaking news: After years of seeing cats take center stage for cute and funny, dogs are mounting a resistance effort.

    funny dog pictures - I am the troll of this area and require noms to pass.
    see more dog and puppy pictures

    Do you think this will escalate into a full-out war? What kinds of noms do you give? Are you a cat or dog person? Do you think you have to pick sides?

    Wednesday, August 10, 2011

    Bad Kids, Good Kids, What is the Difference?

    I was planning to write a rant today about wild children whose parents don’t seem to care. Instead, I decided to put a positive spin on today’s blog. I went looking for videos of well-behaved children and quickly found there aren’t as many of those as children totally out of control. Make of that what you will.

    Up first is a video from a classroom. Quiet, interested kids. This warmed my heart.

    This one is of two kids scraping snow from a vehicle. Cooperation. Work. I like this, although the one scrape had me cringing.

    Finally, I’d like to present a video I just happened upon. This thing took my breath away. Warning, it’s eye opening.

    Do you think today’s kids are out of control? If so, is this the parent’s fault? Society’s fault?
    Why is it we only notice the out of control children? Do we give too much attention to the wild kids and not enough to the well-behaved ones?

    Have a happy hump day!

    Friday, August 5, 2011

    What CATegory is this??

    I’ve heard of Cat burglars, cat scans, catalogues, and catastrophes, but I’ve never heard of a cat doctor. No, not a vet. And not a human vet who takes care of cats. This cat takes care of dogs. Don’t believe me? Here’s the video:

    In other news, the cat with the loudest purr has been named. My dogs want to go head to head with this feline, their bark against the cat’s meow. What is the world coming to??

    Have a wonderful weekend!

    Wednesday, August 3, 2011

    So You Think You Can Write

    Are you good enough to make it in today's tough writing market? If not, or for those if us who want to learn and grow as writers, there's a lot of help out there. I’ve seen so many great resources lately that I want to share. Below is a sampling of the many wonderful resources out there:

     This blog asks a very important question:  is your novel salable?

    Nathan Bransford offers a simple solution to all writing problems. His blog has a lot of resources. I read it regularly. 

    Bob Mayer talks about changes over the last few years. His is another blog I read regularly. I’ve taken his Warrior Writer course, and it’s great. He’s written a book about the concept. I haven’t read it, yet. But it’s on my list of books to get soon.   

    I have to put a warning on this next link. Four letter words. Lots of them. On the other hand, lots of good advice.

    Kristen Lamb is amazing. Not only is she a genius at social media for writers, she’s a lot of fun to read. I read her blog—and I have her book, We Are Not Alone—The Writer’s Guide to Social Media. It’s amazing!

    Donald Maass is a literary agency and the author of some kick-butt books for writers. My favorite is the Breakout Novel Workbook (it is stand alone!), but you really can’t go wrong with this guy.

    The most awesome teacher and coach of writing craft is Margie Lawson. Anybody who is serious about writing  should be looking at taking  her classes or buying her lecture packets. She is awesome!

    For the days we writers just need a kick in the muse, this website is great:

    Yes, there are many other resources out there. What are your favorites? Do you hate any of my choices? Do you write your own blogs or other resources for writers? Tell me about them.

    Monday, August 1, 2011

    Do You Have A Clone?

    Do you have a clone? You do if you’re an identical twin, because identical twins have the same DNA—the same genetic structure (different fingerprints, though). Oh, that’s not what you think of when you think clone? Me either, actually. So let’s find out what a clone actually is.

    Definition from;
    (Science: cell biology) a propagating population of organisms, either single cell or multicellular, derived from a single progenitor cell. Such organisms should be genetically identical…

    Okay, what? You don’t understand that definition? Does it help that propagating means reproducing? OK, calm down. How about this definition from

      [klohn]   noun, verb, cloned, clon·ing.
    1.Biology .
    a.a cell, cell product, or organism that is genetically identical to the unit or individual from which it was derived.

    Clearer? That sounds more like the traditional idea of clones. You take one cell from an individual and presto-chango you have an adult with all the memories and traits of the individual the cell came from. Except…
    A clone starts out with one cell just like everything else. That cell reproduces over and over to become an exact genetic copy of the individual. A baby. And if you know any identical twins, they aren’t necessarily alike in temperament. They’re individuals. The same is true of animals. We are shaped by many things, both genetics and life experiences. The same would be true of a clone.

    Let’s say I was cloned. Nine months from now, I could give birth to myself. Right? The baby would have my genetic heart condition and my Elers-Danlos Syndrome. She would have brown eyes and dark brown hair. And her life would be totally different from mine, She would develop her own beliefs, her own style, her own way of doing things. She would have different memories, experiences, friends. She would be her own unique individual—just like identical twins are identical genetically, but not necessarily in any other way.

    Now that we have that settled, would you like to make a clone? Simple take a cutting from a plant and put it in a pot and care for it. Soon, you’ll have a clone of the original plant. Unless I touch it. I did not inherit my mother’s green thumb.

    Have you ever cloned a plant? Do you think Hollywood could use a genetics lesson or two? Are you an identical twin, or know a set? Are you/they the same or very different?