Tuesday, July 14, 2009

For the animal lovers out there...

I just love animals..they have such funny personalities. In my life I've had dogs and cats and birds and what a joy they all were. Unfortunately I live in an apartment now so I'm not allowed to have any pets (although I think I may be able to talk them into letting me have a bird so wish me luck on that). My sister received two beautiful parakeets with an awesome two story cage for Mothers Day this year so we can blame my family for getting me thinking about a new bird. I'm very excited at the thought. I truly miss my pets and look forward to the interaction with a new member of our family.

I've had a couple of Cockatiels. I had one named Scarlet. She was pure white with just a small orange and yellow spot on each side of her head. She was a very talented little bird. She liked to walk back and forth across a keyboard and make her own music. She also would sit on my shoulder and make her way down to my hand if I had a cracker there. She would abscond with the cracker and come back when she was finished with it (my little cracker thief). Scarlet loved to have her head rubbed...she would climb down my arm to my hand and gently rub her head back and forth across the back of my hand and that was her signal she wanted to have her head rubbed. She loved attention and she was such a pleasure. I miss her so much but she lived a long life and died of natural causes many years ago.

As an animal lover one of the things I love doing is vi sting a website called Africam.com where you can view live camera feeds in hopes of spotting something wonderful like elephants, zebras, wildebeests and more. There is also a flamingo cam and I love to watch all those beautiful pink flamingo's. There are always so many of them. It's a wonderful site and I love watching for the animals to appear and interact with each other or steal themselves a drink of water. Its also great because you can capture the pictures to your computer. I've captured a lot of them and use them as a slide show for my screen saver or use as beautiful backgrounds for my desktop.

There are also plenty of ways to interact with others on the site in the form of blogs and forums. You can submit photos and video catches to share with others on the site and also chat with other site members. If you use twitter you can follow them ( @africam ) and they will alert you when animals are spotted by other members so you can go view them too. The site is free and can give lots of enjoyment to anyone of all ages. Its great for kids to see these animals in their natural habitat. If you enjoy animals as I do, I highly recommend this site.

There is nothing more loyal and loving than a family pet. If you're lucky enough to experience having a furry family member remember to love and care for them and you will get so much more than you could ever imagine in return.



Monday, July 13, 2009

My Heart Breaks for those involved..

My heart breaks for the families involved in the case of all those desecrated graves in Burr Oaks Cemetery in Alsip, Illnois. How can someone be so greedy as to think that disturbing the resting place of someones loved one in order to profit is ok? If it were up to me I'd lock up those involved and throw away the keys. They showed no respect and they deserve no respect in return.

The families of the deceased will not only have to wait at the very least months to find out where the remains of their loved ones are, if that's even possible, but once identified they will have to suffer the pain of the burial all over again. It's just unfathomable how deeply these families will be affected by this atrocity committed by those who had no respect for those who have passed on. The most heartbreaking thing about all of this is the fact that the families will never forget. They will carry this pain for the rest of their lives. They had faith that their loved ones had been laid to rest and to their horror they were betrayed in one of the worst ways possible. Even sadder is the fact that many of them knew personally the very people who betrayed them.

Another thing that disturbs me greatly is the fact that the original casket of Emmet Till was found in an old shed yet those who were arrested for this atrocity deny that his remains were involved in the scheme. I find this hard to believe. If his remains were not involved his casket would not be in some shed. Till was savagely beaten to death because of racism. It's saddens me to think that not only was he horribly disrespected in life solely because of his race, but Emmet has also again been treated horrifically treatment in death.

My thoughts and prayers go out to all the family members involved in this indescribable difficult situation. This had to make us think and just maybe we should check further into this to make sure its not happening in other parts of the country. I for one will be keeping an even closer watch on my loved ones who have passed on. I can't even imagine going through such a tragedy as these families are suffering now.

You can read more about this story on the CNN website in the story titled "Cemetery with missing grave sites declared crime scene"

Friday, July 10, 2009

Are you kidding me?....

I was appalled at what happened to a group of minority children from The Creative Steps Day Care in Philadelphia a couple of weeks ago. These children only wanted to swim and beat the summer heat. I truly thought we were past the kind of racism and ugly thinking displayed by members of the Valley Swim Club.

About two weeks ago the Valley Swim Club sent away a group of mostly African-American and Hispanic children whose day camp had paid $1900 so that they could enjoy a bit of summer swimming. After arriving for what they thought was going to be their first of several days of swimming during the summer they were sent away, asked not to return, and their money was refunded. The children were subjected to racist and ugly hurtful comments by other children and their parents who were swimming at the club.

It saddened me to see and hear the hurt in the children interviewed after this unforgivable display of racism. How could someone turn such beautiful children away. Their only desire was to enjoy their summer vacation.

Now they (Valley Swim Club) are making what in my opinion are excuses for why the children were turned away. They are saying they didn't realize there would be so many children and it was just a safety issue. I would think they would have known an approximate number of children when they made the agreement with the day camp. That also doesn't excuse the racist remarks made by club members that were there when the children from the day camp arrived.

If they want to prove they aren't a racist club, maybe they should reconsider allowing racist members that were there that day to remain members and allow the children to come back, although I can understand why the children would be too traumatized to return to that club. I don't see that scenario happening since I'm not buying their excuses. As the old saying goes, "I don't trust them any farther than I could throw them." I don't know where the Valley Swim Club has been but the days of separate restaurants, water fountains and sitting in the back of the bus are over. They need to catch up with the rest of us.

The Valley Swim Club needs to join with those of us who know and believe that all of us, no matter what our skin color, religion, or culture are all equal in every sense of the word. There is never a good excuse for any kind of racism in our country or in the world for that matter. I have to say I'm as disgusted with their behavior as I've ever been with anyone.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Reflections....

Before I start my reflection I would first like to say that I hope everyone had a very safe and happy 4Th of July. And most importantly I would like to thank all the soldiers that keep me safe and make it possible for me to live in this great country that allows me to be free. I would also like to thank the families of these soldiers who also sacrifice so that their loved ones are free to proudly serve our country. And I also have to thank all the soldiers including my father, my step-son and two very close friends who are very much my family also who served our great country in the past. If not for all of you I might not be setting here today with the freedoms I enjoy. Thank you so much and know that my love and my prayers are with you always.

OK all of that being said I will now explain to you all of the thoughts that passed through my mind today. They may sound a bit like self pity, and maybe they are but sometimes in order to feel our feelings and get them out a bit of self pity is a good thing or at the very least OK once in a while, so here I go.

Have you ever had one of those days in which circumstances of the day seem to force you to reflect on your life? I'm sure you have..at least I tend to believe most people have, When I woke up tired and groggy from the late nights I've come to dread I thought I'd had my day all planned out (I tend to do that even though they never end up how I planned them). I knew it wasn't going to be my normal 4Th of July. I'm used to enjoying a great barbecue surrounded by family and friends, but because of the normal flow of families and their other obligations this years 4Th of July get together was canceled.

Even though I was a bit disappointed (well maybe more that a bit) I still planned what was to be a minimal celebration for my 18 year old son and myself. We would enjoy an early dinner until it was time for him to go to work and then I would later watch the fireworks display from my balcony or wherever they would be best seen from my apartment complex. Not my usual celebration as I mentioned before but nonetheless still a celebration of the most important day to our country.

Unfortunately my day wasn't to end up how I had imagined it. I did make a small early dinner for my son and I and we did enjoy that. He then went to shower and get ready for work. He was suppose to start at 7pm, but that was not to be. He got called in to work early as they had several who were sent home for one reason or another. So he hurriedly got ready for work and I dropped him off. I came back home and enjoyed the company of my online friends until it was time to go watch the fireworks. I waited and waited for dusk to come and finally I heard the start of fireworks in the distance..and not just from one location but in every direction. Well since of course my day had not gone as planned I was not surprised that although I could hear the fireworks, much to my disappointment I could barely see them over the tops of the trees. So much to my dismay I reluctantly went back to my empty apartment and watched what fireworks displays I could find on television. Not as exciting but I guess at least I got to see some.

I guess one thing I haven't mentioned was that my oldest son is away on a great week long vacation trip with his dad, his uncle and cousins for the holiday and my daughter has moved away to another state. That just added to the start of the loneliness and at least a minimal amount of depression of my day. Thus the evening of reflection. While I usually enjoy times of reflection....today..not so much. I thought about all the twists and turns my life has taken, of course none of which were planned. Two divorces, the death of my second husband to alcohol (he was my ex by then) and then finally finding my soul mate and then his sudden and unexpected death. It was devastating and not at all what I had imagined for myself.

In 2001 I decided to go to college (I hadn't had the opportunity when I was young and got married at age 18). I was so excited about my future and did very well in college winning an award and making the deans list and receiving other honors. I was even invited to take an honors class. I worked so hard and knew what I wanted to do when I completed my degree. I wanted to work in a capacity that helped forge better relationships between employers and employees and see that the employees were treated with the respect they deserve. I completed 2 associate degrees with honors and was going to be going on to receive my bachelors degree. Unfortunately before I could achieve this goal, as I said earlier I lost my soul mate unexpectedly, I lost my job and soon after that I became ill and it seemed one thing after was going wrong with my health. I won't go into details, but because of my illnesses I'm unable to work and I have no insurance so am limited on what I can do about it.

So here I am at 51 (much to early), depending on my sons to help me until some miracle happens and I can finally take care of myself again. I am so far from where I thought I'd be at this point in my life. It's not even a matter of starting over. I would have done that if I could have. I keep thinking in a normal world I could find something to do at home, but with the economy the way it is and so many people losing their jobs, It's not so easy to find something like that right now. Being dependent on my 18 year old son is to say the least depressing. I'm not one who likes to be dependant on anyone, let alone my youngest son. It breaks my heart and my spirit. And yes some days I'd just like to give up. But that's not me either so I keep going. Towards what, I have no idea at this moment.

So this is the reason for my day of reflection. Thinking about the past..the present..and the uncertainty of my future. I have no idea where I'll be next month let alone next year. I wish I could say that my reflections today gave me some answers but unfortunately they didn't. I still don't understand how my life ended up here and I certainly have no idea where it's going at this point. Maybe that revelation will come another day. I can only hope so.

OK so I got it out...not feeling better yet but maybe tomorrow..who knows. I'd also like to say that even though I allowed myself this little pity party and expressed my reflections here, I am in no way asking for or expecting pity from anyone. That wasn't the purpose of my post. It was solely a form of therapy of sorts. And yes I do know that there are so many others that have a much rougher life than I could even imagine and my heart truly goes out to each and every one of them.

So in closing I would like to thank you for listening to my thoughts and hope that you found something here that made you think also.




Monday, June 29, 2009

I have a bone to pick with the new agencies!...

I have never been so disappointed in the news media as I am at this moment. We have lost so many great people lately it's getting scary. Makes you wonder who will be the next one to fall. My beef with the media is the lack of coverage for the most recent loss we've suffered.

I understand how very sad the loss of Michael Jackson was. It was a huge shock to all of us and he was such an amazing talent. My sympathies go out to his children...his family and his friends for their loss. This being said we did lose others and they seemed to get overshadowed by the loss of Michael. Did we forget that their lives also count for something. They also contributed in some way to our lives.

Although Farrah Fawcetts tragic passing has gotten some coverage, it was certainly overshadowed. I think in recent days even Billy Mays has gotten more coverage than Farrah. His passing was also a huge shock to everyone.

I feel like because Farrahs death was expected, she didn't get as much coverage but it was still just as tragic and the news media seemed to drop the ball on her passing. So now we've lost yet another wonderful entertainer to cancer. Fred Travalena passed away from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma on Sunday afternoon. You can read the minimal story on his death at CNN's website. Fred fought a hard battle with cancer and deserves to have his life celebrated. He made us laugh for so many years and I for one will miss him terribly. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family

I'm so upset with the media for not giving him the attention he deserves. I can't believe you let ratings overshadow the death of someone who so many people loved and so many will miss. I think its time for you to step up to the plate and correct this major reporting error. His life DID matter and its a story that should be told! RIP Fred, Farrah, Ed, Michael, Billy, Bea, David, and Gale. You will be missed.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Someone has to say it..so here goes...

I've been on twitter for a few short months and for the most part I've met some very wonderful people and made some awesome friends. I know when I'm down I can always go to my friends on twitter to vent and/or enjoy their company and my mood quickly changes. It's also a great place to go to support causes close to your heart.

While on twitter these past few months I've also found many who use ustream to get themselves out there. Its a great place where you can chat and see someone broadcast live and interact in real time. Most of them are great and it can be a lot of fun. I have found one exception to this though. Anyone can try to make themselves a 'star' via ustream but unfortunately I've found one that has taken himself much to seriously. He calls his show BradmanTV. At first he seemed to be comical and I followed him on twitter (that's where I found him first). But as time has gone on my opinion of him has changed drastically.

At some point he has become a bit full of himself and he believes he is some sort of God who has the power to make or break someone. I've seen him degrade anyone who isn't kissing his behind. He's threatened to pull his support of someones friend if they don't follow his imaginary line. I have a question for the Bradman..Who died and made you God of the Internet? Have you forgotten your not the star you think you are...you're just a guy from Iowa that has a ustream account. That doesn't give you the right to degrade those who don't see things your way.

I follow a wonderful lady from Canada. She's funny and talented and I highly recommend her ( @KellyG5 and KellyG on YouTube ). He had the nerve to tell her he didn't think she was "the right fit for his show." I saw this from him with my own eyes and just couldn't believe it. I was amazed at the comment since he's just some regular guy transmitting from Iowa. Also as far as I know real stars don't broadcast drunk from a bar.

If he's so special why is he not in Hollywood by now? Brad...I hate to tell you this but you don't have as much power as you think you do. You really do need to get over yourself. I for one unfollowed him on twitter and will block him if he decides to try to tweet me again. And just in case you ever read this post Bradman..I have a new hashtag for you. #bradmantvfail! My advice to the Bradman is to bring himself back down to reality and realize he's NOT a star, he's just a guy that lives in Iowa. No more and no less. Having a pretend TV show on ustream doesn't make you special. It just means you know how to log into an account and push a button to talk.

So from this average normal lady I'm saying this guy is not worth your time, and I for one will not be wasting any more of my time on him. I have more important things to attend to. I would only recommend him to those who enjoy kissing someones behind or those who enjoy being degraded if they don't tow his line. Otherwise I wouldn't bother as he doesn't understand any other way.

This is just my personal opinion. You are free to agree or disagree. Thanks.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Support for the Iranian People in their difficult time...

My heart goes out to the Iranian people in this difficult time. They are fighting the difficult fight for their freedom and making themselves be heard around the world. Its wonderful to see the support from around the world via twitter, youtube, facebook and many other avenues. I pray they have the outcome they strive for. So many brave people there in Iran and my heart truly goes out to them.

It's great to see people from all over the world holding rallies and showing solidarity for the Iranian people. If you want to get involved and show your support you can sign up for a twitter account at twitter.com and check the trending topic #iranelection to get more information on whats taking place and see how you can show your support. You can also get information via Iran unrest twazzup twitter. Please show your support for their struggles and you would want someone to support you if you were in that same position.

I'm appalled at how the Iranian government continues to try to silence their own people and I pray that the people find the peace and freedom they seek. I applaud their persistence in asserting their rights as human beings to live in a free society. My thoughts are with them and I will continue to support them in their efforts and hope that others will do the same.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Sad but true....


I've come to a sad realization today. Families don't seem to mean the same as they used to. Back when I was young a family stuck together. I remember my family living for a time with my grandparents when things got tough. After all..that's what family's are suppose to do. Pick up the slack when times are tough.

We try to instill these values in our children, but unfortunately it's a different world today. Everyone is so focused on their own plans, they forget to look at the bigger picture and be sure that their actions aren't going to have detrimental affects on the very people they claim to love.

I was discussing this very thing with my mother yesterday. Our reflection of our lives and what we had both been through reminded us just how important family is and the fact that we always had each others backs, especially through the hard times. Because of some unfortunate happenings in my life yesterday, I feel I have spiraled to the bottom of what feels like a black hole in my life. My mother thanked me for always being there for her and reminded me how much I helped her in the last few months of my fathers life. But really, she didn't need to thank me at all. Isn't that what it's all about? Family catching you when you're falling. It was back in my day. It's the way I grew up. You just never turned your back on your family.

I guess what I'm trying to say is always check your motives. And always hold those you love in your heart and be sure what you're planning doesn't harm the ones you love. Family is family and you just can't be sure how long you will have them in your lives. I've learned all to well that they can vanish in the blink of an eye. After all we aren't invincible. Life happens..and not always the way we want it to.

P.S. The picture is of my family when I was a little girl. I'm the little dark haired girl. I think I was about 6 years old. It's my favorite picture and I treasure it always.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Just for fun and hopefully your entertainment...



These are a couple of poems I wrote back in 2002. The first one was written in about ten minutes just for fun to send to my friends. They got quite a chuckle out of it. The second one I wrote after my dear sweet farmboy (my affectionate name for him) passed away unexpectedly in 2002. I hope you enjoy them. One of these days I will have to try my hand at it again. After I finish writing my book of course. Anyway enjoy and I hope you like them.



HELLO FRIENDS

Hello my friends, this poem is for you,
I know you love me, and i love you too,
And when I'm a pain, I'm sure you'll let me know,
And off to my corner i will go,
To know me is to love me you will find,
So when I'm a pip, please be kind,
Some know me as Linda, some know me as spitfire,
If you have any problems, this guns for hire,
I'm not much of a poet, as I'm sure you know,
But you love me anyway, it must be my glow,
OK I'm done now, does that make you happy?,
Hey what do you want? I thought the poem was snappy.

By Linda aka Spitfire

Linda Bowen

Copyright ©2009 Linda Bowen


Questions Unanswered

I find my self asking
can i fill that void,
or is life just a series
of obstacles to avoid.

I wander through life
searching for solutions,
to life's many questions
but find no resolutions,

I hoped happiness was out there
as I've made my way through,
I have no way of knowing,
it seems so out of view.

I can't seem to find
that one thing that i seek,
the peace from within
that makes life unique.

Perhaps i will find
as i continue my quest,
that unhappiness may be
my one unwelcome guest.

Linda Bowen

Copyright ©2009 Linda Bowen

I was happy they got put on poetry.com. Even though it's probably easy to get a poem on there it was still exciting.

Monday, June 8, 2009

FREE LAURA LING AND EUNA LEE!!

My thoughts and prayers go out to Laura Ling and Euna Lee and their families. It sickens me to see these women being used as pawns by North Korea and something has to be done immediately to rescue these women. I'm appalled that it's gone on this long without their release. It's time to use our voices and keep a focus on these two brave ladies and do whatever we can to secure their release as soon as possible. I'm urging everyone to contact the UN and the State Department to voice your concern. These women did nothing wrong and we cannot allow this atrocity to continue. North Korea is using these women as bargaining chips and enough is enough. 

You can sign a petition at the Care2 petition site and I urge to you do so. You can also get updates on whats happening by following @LiberateLaura on twitter. If you're not on twitter you can get information on this site also Liberate Laura and Euna Now

These women have done nothing wrong and we have to speak up as a nation and stop this now! So lets get busy!! Blog about it..sign petitions..make contact with the powers that be and lets get these women home now where they belong. We must take a stand now and right this terrible wrong. Join the fight to free Laura Ling and Euna Lee now!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

A bit of a rant on Celebs who twitter but don't follow their fans....

So..here I am again..ranting about something I've already mentioned a few times but feel the need to get off my chest once again. Mainly because celebs still don't get it and sadly most probably never will. But even if they don't see this (which I'm sure they won't), It helps to get it off my chest, so here goes. 

You would think by now with all the hoopla around this subject some of them (celebs) would be listening...but no...they aren't. I'm afraid the majority of celebs still don't get it. So sad really. They are really missing out. They have not yet quite grasped the concept of the importance of their fans and the fact that talent or not, they wouldn't be where they are without us. I'm soooo tired of hearing the same old excuses. "I have so many followers, I just can't keep up" I just don't want to hear it anymore. Yes its difficult to keep up..but there are many tools that can be used to help with that such as tweetdeck for one. You can create groups so that its easier to scroll back and review tweets so that you can respond to them. There is a reply column that also helps. Following the fan enables them to send you a direct message. That also has its own column in tweetdeck

I just think its a slap in the face to the fans not to follow them back. Following someone in my opinion is a show of respect. Makes them feel connected and appreciated. Like you care what they have to say to you. Think about it. Before you were a celeb when you were young..did you ever write a fan letter that wasn't answered. If so, how did it make you feel? Maybe a little like you weren't important enough for them to take a few minutes out of their time to appreciate you? If not then you have thicker skin than I do. 

You are where you are because of your fans...talent is nothing if there isn't anyone out there to appreciate that talent. So why not show your fans a little twitter love and follow them back. Have you any idea how frustrating it is for the fan if they tweet you a hundred times with still no reply? Well for me..I feel like 1. I'm not worthy of your precious time and 2. I must be so boring I'm not worthy to share the same planet you're on. 

A twitter friend of mine brought up something else that makes us nuts. Two celebs having a conversation with each other and totally ignoring all their other tweets. Come on...its not like you can't call each other and have those conversations anytime you want to. For the fan the only message that sends is 'Look at us..we are celebrities..we can talk to each other and totally ignore you and don't you wish we were giving you the time of day? It's frustrating to the fan and if you could only see their reactions between each other, it might make you worry about how many fans you're at risk of losing in the process. 

We may not be celebs..but we do have important and sometimes funny things to say. We are real people with real feelings and we deserve recognition and respect. I for one refuse to again tweet someone dozens if not hundreds of times with no response. To be honest its a waste of my api I can save for my twitter friends who actually follow me and care what I have to say and respond back to me. 

So in closing I guess what I want to say is if you truly care about your fans who put you where you are..follow them..care about them as human beings. Talk to them, they might even surprise you and have some good advice or something to make you chuckle. DON'T FORGET US..WE'RE OUT HERE AND WAITING TO BE HEARD! 

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Some of my Favorite up and coming talent on twitter....Check them out!

Another great thing on twitter..up and coming talent everyone should check out. Some are more established than others but I think you'll find all of them to be very talented. Anyone who knows me knows I'm a twitter addict. One of the many things I love about twitter is the chance to check out new talent I might not have seen otherwise. Getting to know them and seeing their talents grow is so exciting. I think when you check them out you'll agree with me. 

Instead of going on and on about them (which I could easily do) I'll give you a bit of info about each and links so you can click to check them out for yourselves. I think you will agree with me when I say they will do great things! I'm sure they would appreciate your support so I'm hoping you will spread the word of these great talents wherever and whenever you can. So without further babble from me I'd like to introduce you to these fine talents. 

  • Rashad Houston - Born in NY, U.S. Navy for 4 years, Now lives in San Diego, Beautiful wife and son. He writes wonderful music from his soul. Hip Hop and Soul. His music is inspiring and refreshing and he gives a part of himself in every song. You can follow him on twitter @rashadhouston and you can check out his music at Rashad Houston on MySpace. You won't regret checking out this wonderful talent and don't forget to spread the word to those you know.
  • J.R. King - Born in Chicago, Still living in Chicago, Has his own independent record label called One Nation Entertainment, Inc. Music genre Urban - R&B/Soul/Pop, Smooth sound that definitely gets you movin. Puts himself out there and into his music. You can follow him on twitter at @Jr_King and listen to his great music at SoundClick artist: J.R. King. I promise you won't regret it. And don't forget..spread his music!
  • Kelly G. - Canada - Comedian, This is one crazy lady (In a good way of course), She's funny and spreads chuckles everywhere she goes (wait..does that make her a chucklehead?) She makes funny videos from her car (yes...you heard me right..from her car), But that's not all she does..the crazy lady literally lifts people (approximately 500+ so far) She says she's uplifting and that's an understatement. She intends to as she puts it "Lifting the world, one person at a time." She aspires to add Ellen to her list, so spread the word! You can follow her at @KellyG5 and view her videos at YouTube Live with Kelly G. Lets give her a round of applause! 
  • Jay Link - Los Angelos CA - Lead singer of Rock band called Death and Taxes - Independent record label called I Scream Records, They have a great sound and they will definitely get you rockin. You have to check them out and spread the word! You can follow Jay Link on twitter at @JayLink_ and you can get more information on the Band and other members and hear some of their music on MySpace Jay Link , MySpace Death & Taxes , Official Death 'N' Taxes website.

Lets give these great talents a hand and help spread the word!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Collective Soul Shows Twitter Love to their fans...

I follow a lot of celebs on twitter but these guys (Collective Soul) have to be one of the most refreshing of them all. They take the time to follow those who follow them and interact. Collective Soul seems to realize when they follow their fans it makes them (the fan) feel more a part of things. I realize that it's difficult to respond to everyone when you have thousands or even millions of followers nor would I expect them to, but it's still nice to feel the celeb you are following is hearing you. Its part of the fun and excitement of following the celeb. Because Collective Soul interacts so much with their fans I highly recommend them. You can follow Collective Souls twitter by following this link @collective_soul

No one wants to continually just read generic posts about the celebs new releases whether it be a movie, a television show, or a new album. They want interaction and they want to feel appreciated. What better place to do this than on twitter? It's a safe vinue for them without fighting crowds of people and paparazzi.

Yes I know they're famous people, but we also want to see them as 'real' just like the rest of us (after all at one time they were just regular people). Collective Soul does just that. Yes they let us know about their upcoming tours (click for info) 2009 tour and new music..but they also interact and try to respond to as many fans as their busy schedule allows. They twitter pics and videos of their travels and things they are up to in real time. This only makes their fans feel more connected. (You can also get more info about them on the Collective Soul Blog.)

All in all I would have to say they rank up there at number one not just in talent, but in the care they show to their fans every day. After all celebs wouldn't be celebs without the fans. People just want to be treated like real people with real feelings and not just a number that brings in the bucks. My best advice to the celebs out there..follow your fan base..let them know you truly appreciate them. After all they are the biggest reason you are where you are now. Yes you have the great talent, but the fans are the ones that truly make you famous. Without them you're just regular people with talent. Kudos to Collective Soul for getting it right!

This being said I do have a couple of others that although they don't follow everyone, they do take the time to respond to as many of their followers as they can and are definitely entertaining. Those are @melaneymayron52 (A special lady who responds often and follows me back), @madlyv (this one is wonderful lady with 'spunk') I follow many others but after many many tweets to them I have yet to ever get a response so I'll just leave them off the list altogether. My father always said if you don't have anything good to say don't say it at all and in this case..i'll listen to him.



Sunday, May 24, 2009

Comments section fixed

I finally got the comment section fixed, so for those who want to leave comments, go for it...I'm happy to have them..thanks.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Ummm..Can we say commercial overdose?




OK..now I know I can't be the only one that's noticed the rediculous amount of commercials that accompany our favorite television programs. We are all going through a commercial overdose of sorts. I guess the incident that started me on this rant (not that it was the first time i'd noticed) was one morning as I woke, I turned on my televison to watch the morning news program as I always do. As my luck (or lack of luck) would have it, they had just gone to commercial. I waited commercial after commercial after commercial and so on and so on for my news program to come on. Much to my dismay they just kept coming. I beleive I stopped counting at 15 as it was beginning to put me back to sleep. Finally, eureka my news program finally appeared. I was so excited that something of interest was on, but much to my dismay it didn't last long. You won't beleive what happened next (well on second thought maybe you will).  After just 90 seconds of the news program it happened, we were back to yet more commercials (of course they were the exact same ones i'd just seen). What was going on here? Were they really intent on putting me back to sleep just minutes after I had gotten up? All I could think at this point was 'Please...someone just take me out back and cap me now!' 

I mean come on, I know commercials are important to both the television program and the business's (and on occasion the consumer), but something has to give at some point. It's beginning to look more like the programs have switched places with the commercials. I don't sit down to watch the commercials..I'm there to watch the show. So I want to place my order now..'Please..I'd like my favorite program..light on the commercials please and what kind of wine goes best with that?' 

I just want to know one thing. What ever happened to balance? Do the networks really believe we aren't all noticing this trend? Did they think they could just sneak it past us and hope we little lemmings wouldn't notice? Well I'm here to tell you...WE'VE NOTICED! 

So here I am to make this request of the network powers that be. Open your internet browser..in the little blank box at the top..type in the word 'balance' and memorize the definition (If you need any help with this, just let me know..i'd be happy to help). It's very frustrating to sit down to relax and watch my favorite show and see more commercials than I do my television program. I can also make one more reccommendation regarding the whole cost issue. All of you network executives at the very top could lower your salaries and put the money back into the shows we all love to watch. I don't know about you, but it works for me. If you need anymore suggestions feel free to contact me. This redhead is always glad to help out.




Monday, May 11, 2009

Bad Managers aka Dumb and Dumber...



This is a story of two managers from my small town in Missouri who will be known as Mr. Dumb and Mrs. Dumber. They've earned the titles so why not? Two different business's, two different managers using the same management style I'll refer to as 'Stupidity'. 

Let's get right to it. We'll start with manager #1 I'll refer to as Mr. Dumb. He's the manager of our local Sonic, a chain of restaurants I'm sure many have heard of.  My son worked there off and on for many years. When Mr. Dumb first arrived as the new manager he seemed to be just what the store needed. He pitched in and got things done and all the employees were happy to work with him. Within a year of his arrival, things began to change very quickly. At first it was just occasional jokes with the employees, which by itself wasn't necessarily a bad thing. 

Over the next few days and months he began to step it up a notch. He decided for his entertainment it was humorous to start arguments between the employees and then he'd sit back and laugh about it. Next, he started with more serious infractions such as stealing one employees cellphone while she was in the lady's room. When she came out he was going through her texts and phone numbers and other personal information and showing it to other employees. Shortly after that incident her phone came up missing from work for a couple of days and then mysteriously turned up. He began harassing the employees and if they protested this behavior he fired them. If an employee was ill, they were informed that they either found a replacement for there hours, came to work, or they would be fired. There was another incident in which an employee need a second job in order to get enough hours to equal a 40 hour week. The employee was to work days at the Sonic and 3 nights a week at his other job. It was agreed between the manager and the employee that he would get off an hour earlier so they he could change and arrive on time for his second job. On the second day he refused to let him leave and told him he would just have to call his other employer he would be late.  Of course we all know what happened. He lost his new job not to mention the health insurance he was to receive not available at his job at Sonic. 

This behavior was reported to the district manager over this area's franchises'. He said he would look into it and make things right. After the manager was disciplined for his behavior things were calm for a month or so. Being the inept manager Mr. Dumb is, he slowly went back to his old behavior. He was late opening the store, and employees received many customer complaints from the usual early morning crowd. This was mentioned to the manager at customer requests. He told the employee he was the manager and therefore could do anything he wanted. At this point he got into the face of the employee and began screaming over and over asking the employee if they wanted to fire him (this is the employee who had lodged the original complaint). This behavior persisted for 10 to 15 minutes with the assistant manager witnessing the entire event. The employee ignored the yelling and kept working until he was finally ask to leave the store. The employee went strait home and called the district manager to report to him what had happened. The employee was told to give him a few days and he would be in town to investigate the situation and he then would report back to him what would be done. In the mean time this employee was losing income. When he didn't hear anything from the district manager for a week he touched base with one of the other employees who informed him the district manager had been reassigned to another region. 

So now what? That's Sonics resolution to the problem? Instead of bringing in a new manager who knows how to do his/her job they instead reassign the district manager who was trying to resolve the issue? Whats wrong with this picture? Is that managements solution to everything these days? Lets just sweep it under the rug instead of dealing with the issue at hand. I'd love to hear Sonics' take on this situation and I intend to find out.

OK, lets get on to manager #2. She shall be referred to as Mrs. Dumber. It's obvious to me that she's not had a lot of management training or didn't pay attention, I'm not sure which. In this particular Casey's General Store the turnover is continual. Most of it due to the managers lack of interviewing skills. Most of the employees hired don't make it long because they simply don't want to work or follow the rules. They slack and put their work off on the other employees, mainly the assistant manager. Every time they lose one or two employees the assistant manager ends up filling in the spaces until someone new can be hired and trained as the manager is unwilling to do it. Of course the assistant manager is the one that usually also does all the new hire training.

On top of not having enough employees to cover all the shifts, there is also the problem of employee illnesses. They are required to either find a replacement for their hours, come in sick or lose their jobs. Finding a replacement should fall under the managers job not the employees and they shouldn't have to worry about their job when their sick. It happens and the manager should have a back up plan for these situations. Requiring an employee to come in sick is wrong on its own merit, but requiring an employee with a contagious disease is just plain stupid. Not only do you risk the health of the other employees but also the customers who come into the business to shop. Forcing an employee to work with strep throat in any business is ridiculous, but in a business that prepares and sells food just seems to me to be moronic to say the least.  It would have been endangering everyone the employee came in contact with and opened them up to lawsuits. 

There are many more examples of their 'Stupidity' style of management, but maybe I'll bring those up at another time. Otherwise we'll be here for the next 10 years complaining about Mr. Dumb and Mrs. Dumber and I'm sure we both have other things to do.

In closing, I'd like to recommend to Mr. Dumb and Mrs. Dumber and all those other managers out there that use the 'Stupidity' management style its time to get a brain, a clue and a bit of common sense. Being a manager number 1 does not give you the right to treat your employees with disrespect, nor does it give you the right to threaten their jobs and the health of others when their sick. For goodness sake use some common sense here. If you treat you're employees with respect and dignity they will meet or exceed any goal you could set for them. Everyone has the right to work in a peaceful environment without the worry of losing their jobs because the manager feels they have the right to be a bully. You've had time since the days of the playground to outgrow this behavior. Get over yourselves!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A Newbies take on Twitter


OK, so like a lot of other people I've caught the twitter bug. It can certainly be very addicting. I've met so many nice folks on twitter. It's a great place to connect to others that have the same interests or even learn about something new. There is also a lot of funny people in Twitterville as well. For the most part my experience in Twitterville so far has been a pleasant one. 

I've learned many things so far but, still have a long way to go to lose my newbie status. I was almost two weeks into my twitter life before I knew that you could actually tweet to those who don't follow you. I was excited about this at first as there were many I wanted to talk to but had no idea how to get them to follow. It was a pleasant surprise that I didn't really need to do that. The one big advantage to having them follow you is the ability to send direct messages back and forth. Sometimes you may want to send personal info you don't want out in twitterland. 

So back to the idea that you can tweet everyone, even those who do not follow you. It's exciting at first, especially if your following someone you consider a VIP. You can consider yourself very lucky if you get a response from them. They have so many followers tweeting them it's almost impossible to have them respond. I know I have trouble keeping up with just my 318 followers. I don't think I could do it without using TweetDeck. I highly recommend it. Everything in one neat little package including direct messaging, referred to as DM's. 

I did make one decision and that was not to try to converse with the VIP's. I know I'm one of those people who wear their hearts on their sleeves. I know it's a stupid thing to do, but that's just who I am. If they indicate they read all tweets and still I get no response I tend to take that as a sign that I haven't said anything interesting enough to warrant a response and being the Old woman that I am I get hurt feelings. Thus the decision to give up on that one. Don't get me wrong, I still love to follow them and watch the great tweets they put out there. I just don't plan to put myself out there and feel like an idiot for thinking I would be important enough to be responded to.

Not to worry though. I have lots of great people I follow who follow me in return and I love talking to them. They tweet great advice, quotes, and lots of funny stuff that makes me laugh. You can't have too much of that. It's great and like they say "laughter is the best medicine", and there is plenty of that to be had in Twitterville!

One other thing I might mention is that so far the one downside to twitter is that just on the rest of the net you can get some bad information. Never take important info you receive in twitterland as fact. Do your research and take the time check the facts. As with the case of the recent H1N1 (swine flu), there was a lot of misinformation flying around out there. But the facts are easily checked on the CDC website (Notice the link I've provided in the sidebar).  So my advice is to check your facts always before sending it on to others. 

Another thing to remember is the most important thing of all. If you don't want someone else to know what your saying, don't put it out there on twitter! It's inevitable it will get out to the very person you didn't want to hear it. Remember, this is out there for the whole world to see and be assured that they WILL see it.  

Now go out there and twitter your hearts out. I highly recommend it. It's so much fun and as I said before, there are a lot of wonderful people out there to tweet with! I have many of them on my list and I love em all! Happy tweeting!!


Thursday, April 30, 2009

I'm not concerned about swine flu..are you?

It seems to me as long as everyone uses some common sense regarding swine flu there shouldn't be such a big panic over it. Don't go out if your sick, wash your hands often, watch out for people who are sneezing, and if you feel like you may have the flu go to your physician and get checked. Most important of all, be sure you get accurate information regarding this flu. The best place to get your info is directly from the CDC or WHO. I've added the link for the CDC in my sidebar so you can easily check for the latest information. 

If you do your research you would find that most of the deaths from the swine flu In Mexico were due to inadequate health care. Most likely if they had gotten medical attention as soon as they got sick they might have survived it. There are many confirmed cases in the United States with only one death and that was a small child (23 months). 

I think what most people don't take into consideration is the fact that for the most part the swine flu cases in the United States have been mild and most are just simply getting the antiviral and recuperating at home. As was reported on CNN by Jack Cafferty   http://caffertyfile.blogs.cnn.com/2009/04/30/has-swine-flu-story-been-overblown/, there are more deaths each year from the seasonal flu than from our current situation with this swine flu. You don't see the same panic or threat levels for the seasonal flu. With so many deaths every year, why not? In either case if everyone just follows the simple rules for hygiene, that can solve a lot of it. 

I do have one other solution that can help slow down the spread of flu's and colds. It's also a simple one. It's been suggested that if your sick, stay home. Don't go to school or work. As for school that's a more simple solution, but as for staying home from work, that can be a bit more difficult. In some cases It's more difficult to do this for two reasons. 
  1. Not all people can afford to stay home. Many have no sick days so if they don't go to work they don't get paid and that can make It impossible to pay bills.
  2. In many jobs these days, if you don't show up for work (sick or not) you either get a write up (which goes on your employee record) or you simply get fired for not showing up.
With the job market as it is today, who out there can afford to lose their job? For those reasons they go to work when their sick and it just spreads from employee to employee. So when it's recommended that people stay home when there sick, these things also have to be considered. Employers need to be more willing to work with those who are ill and would be better off at home rather that at work spreading the flu to everyone else. That of course is for another blog. Something really should be done about that.

Anyway, I definitely feel this whole swine flu thing has been blown way out of proportion. Just follow the CDC recommendations and all will be well soon enough. What do you think?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

So I just need to say it again...




So yet here is another case of someone in the health care system dropping the ball just because someone didn't have health insurance. I hear it happening over and over again. When is it going to stop? 

My oldest son's girlfriend is currently in the hospital with complications from Lupus. She began having problems many months ago. She went to the hospital and doctor several times and every time was just medicated to help the symptoms, mostly pain medication, and sent home because she had no health insurance. She has 3 forms of lupus and this should have been caught and treated right away. But too many times someone dropped the ball.  She even had one doctor tell her she wasn't being treated properly for her lupus, but did he do anything about it? No, he simply told her to see a specialist. So she calls to make an appointment and you guessed it. They couldn't fit her in for 3 months. Now she's laying in the hospital where she's been for weeks. She's had 3 surgeries to remove blood clots

She's receiving hyperbolic treatments to try and save as much of the foot as they can, but again I feel they are taking too many chances. The hyperbolic treatments seemed to be working at first. At one point they were only going to have to take the toes. Now because they didn't do something at that point and instead continued the treatments, her foot is getting worse and she will likely lose more of the foot. She's in constant pain and they have her medicated to the hilt.

I have to ask, when did the words 'Do no harm' fade away? This entire situation could have been avoided if they had just started her lupus treatments as soon as she was diagnosed. But no, she didn't have health insurance so she was turned away. 

This lack of compassion has to stop! Those of us without health insurance matter just like everyone else. We are not second class citizens and should be treated with respect! It's as if our lives don't count, so we don't deserve health care. It just makes me want to shout out, "HELLO...we're over here..we are important and we want to live!" But the question is, will anyone hear us? I hope someone is listening out there and stops this unfair practice of sweeping us under the rug as if we are so much garbage!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Ok so I have to do this!!

OK so I usually don't give this kind of thing a second thought, but I just couldn't resist this time. Is anyone besides me sick to death of Perez Hilton and his whining? This feud of his with Miss California is gonna drive me over the edge of the next cliff I see (just and exaggeration to show how nuts this guy makes me). 

Yes I sent him an email letting him know how narcissistic I think he is and suggested he stop acting like a 2 year old. He started out as a blogger just like you and I, but somewhere along the way he decided he was actually a real reporter. I think his friends need to sit him down and tell him he's not all that as they say these days. I mean come on...I've met many people who are full of themselves but he's gone over the top. It doesn't help that the media invites him to their programs. It somehow led him to believe that his opinion's are more important than they really are. So much so that he thinks he can tell Miss California how she should word her responses to questions. Maybe he would have been happier if he had been allowed to write all the questions with acceptable responses for all of the contestants. After all his opinion is the only one that counts. Right? NOT!!

Don't get me wrong. I totally support same sex marriage. What I don't accept is someone in this country thinking they can tell someone else what to believe and how they should express their opinions. If I never hear the words 'Politically correct' it won't be too soon for me. Get a clue Perez. In this country we have the right to express our opinions in our own words even if it upsets someone else. It's called free speech and if I'm not mistaken Perez uses it everyday. Do I get to go on his blog and tell him I didn't like the way he stated something so I would like him to word it a different way so it doesn't offend me or others? No! If I don't agree with someones statement or the way they said it I do what everyone should do and what the typical teenager does. I let it go in one ear and out the other.

So Perez, my suggestion to you is that you 1. get a clue...2. get a life...3. get yourself a big cup of stfu...and last of all 4. GROW UP!!

Well that's my 2 cents worth on that subject. Sorry for the rant, but I just needed to get it out of my system and move on. Thanks for listening. I'll be back later I'm sure.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Just another day

Not too much going on here today. Just trying to get some work done a little at a time as my back permits. It's been quiet for the most part here...everyone is just kind of doing their own thing as usual. I recently began using Twitter. Its a lot of fun and lots of fun folks out there to follow. One of my favorites is Ashton Kutcher's twitter. He's such a hoot and finds some of the funniest video's to post. I was watching some of his video's of him and Demi on vacations. It really brought home that they are just normal people like the rest of us. Makes you see "stars" in a whole different view and I mean that in a good way. To tell you the truth I never paid much attention to him at first. Don't get me wrong, he's really good at what he does. But seeing him up there as just a regular person actually made me take more notice. He and Demi seem to be very happy and have a lot of fun. 

After watching his video's and the funny things he finds online to watch and make you laugh he reminds me of my son's. He's a real nut and fun to follow. Now if i could just find a way to get him to follow my twitter so I could talk to him that would be great, but I'm not gonna hold my breath on that one. 

Just have to say though if you haven't tried twitter yet you should! It's just too much fun! OK well that was my random thought today. If something comes to mind later I'll be back. I'd like to hear your random thoughts too, so feel free to chime in and if you twitter you can follow me at @imjstsayin