Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Facebook Relationships, Real or Memorex?

     There used to be this saying when I was younger, actually it was a commercial for Memorex video tapes. The commercial showed someone talking and then it would show someone talking on TV, the same person, saying the same things. Then they would mention how you could not tell if it was real or Memorex. It meant that the Memorex copy was so clear that it was hard to distinguish it from the real person talking. So, when I think of something that seems to be real but might not be I like to use that saying, "is it real or Memorex?" simply asking if it is true or false...get it? 

     Facebook makes me wonder much of the time whether they are real or Memorex. I often see these posts of a perfect life on sociail media and I wonder if the people really have these rose garden type of lives. Their kids are always perfect, the husband or wife is always perfect and well, life is perfect. Then you see the person in real life and things are not quite as they seem. Of course we never know what goes on behind closed doors but still you wonder if anything can be that peachy keen.  I believe in every world a little rain must fall. I just find it hard to believe things are so perfect all the time. 

    Then there are the doom and gloom posts. The ones where nothing in life is ever good. It is so dismal and dreary. Funny thing is that many times the doom and gloom comes from the same people the very next day so, again is it real or not? 

    I really don't think most people are truly themselves on social media. It is a place where folks can vent, rant and be who they want to be with the perfect life we all wish we had.  I would like to think that those perfect posts are for real but I always wonder if it is real or Memorex?

     Disclaimer: This blog was not intended to hurt anyone, it was not written with anyone in mind. It was written partly for fun and partly because these are things I do wonder about from time to time.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Guns are Not the Only Weapons Used in Mass Murder Attempts

       Yesterday a woman for unknown reasons ran her car into several pedestrians in Las Vegas, Nevada. This tragedy really bothers me. It also goes to show if people want to kill, they will find a way. The woman who did this intentionally tried to kill at least 40 people with her car. I will not name her because she does not deserve any kind of public attention and I will not give her that glory.

     When I first heard about the tragedy of course, my heart went out those injured. So far, one person is dead which is heartbreaking. Over 30 others were injured and three in critical condition. I am was, and am, sad for their families. I also feel for them because they will never be able to walk down the street again without the fear of harm. I mean, who would have thought of being plowed down on the sidewalk. I sure would not have.  It will haunt them all for the rest of their lives I am sure. That breaks my heart. The woman who was killed, 32-year-old Jessica Valenzuela, will never walk down a street again. Her family will never see her again. That is sad, it is tragic, and it is horrific.

     My next thought after hearing about this tragedy was “well I guess they need to ban cars now”. I mean whenever there is a mass tragedy involving a gun the politicians and media are all calling out for gun bans and gun control. It is all you hear about for days. There has not really been much said about this tragedy, many people have not even heard about it. Granted I am glad for that because I believe the media making criminals famous is a huge part of the problem facing our society today. However, I wonder where the advocates are now.  I mean this is a mass murder attempt, the woman tried to kill many people with her car. She used her car as a weapon for mass destruction. Where are all of the advocates for that? How do you advocate this particular tragedy really? How do we heal the sick society we live in where people want to kill just for the sake of killing?

     Of course, realistically we cannot ban cars, that is silly. A car cant’ kill unless people get behind the wheel and drive it into others. On the other hand, guns cannot kill unless people shoot them. This tragedy shows how tools other than guns can be used to commit mass injuries and possible murder. No amount of gun control or gun bans could have prevented this mass tragedy. The woman might have tried to get a gun and couldn’t so, she used her car to cause others harm instead. If that is not the case in this incident, it might be in another. Guns are not the only weapon that can kill, guns are not the only weapon people can use to commit mass murder, so as a society maybe we need to stop blaming the tools used to commit these heinous crimes and blame the person or people responsible

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Morning Cup of Coffee...Grouchy People Make it Hard to Smile in Their Presence

     So many times through life I have been around people who are well, just grouchy all of the time. Everything sets them off. You never know what might make them grumpy, it can be soemthing as simple as a speck of dust on a lens. When you say sometthing to them about being grouchy they just tell you that they don't mean it toward you. However what they do not realize is that, even though their grouchiness it is not aimed toward you, you are the one who gets to hear and see the tirade, so it bothers you. People really need to stop and realize that we all struggle and we all have problems. It is much easier to deal with those problems if you smile. If someone is always grouchy around you it makes it so hard to keep smiling. 

     Life is hard enough, people being grouchy all the time makes it even harder. Everyone has struggles and life can be rough, but being grouchy to others and walking around with a chip on your shoulder all the time does not help you at all and makes you the walking on egg shell kind of person...that person who everyone feels the need to walk on eggshells when around because they are always in such a bad mood in which has many triggers and well, no one knows what those triggers will be. Life is much easier if people are not grouches all the time.

     So my morning thought is ......be a pleasant person to be around, not a grump. 

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Morning Cup of Coffee Thoughts: Be True to Your Word and Mean it When Apologizing

      I am not going to write a morning cup of coffee thought every day and sometimes my "morning cup of coffee" thought will be at night but, I just think that sounds good...so I have two today. My "morning cup of coffee" are just thing that are on my mind, sometimes for a reason and sometimes just random. Other times I think of things after watching something on TV or watching a movie. These two today are ones that happen in all our lives and we all need to try our hardest to make sure we are always true to our word and mean it when apologizing.
     So here are my "morning cup of coffee" thoughts today.  Be true to your word. If you tell someone you are going to do something, do it! Granted things do happen and we make promises that are hard to keep but, try your best to keep your word because really your word is all people have to go on. It determines your character. If you are someone who constantly breaks your word, or just says things because they sound good at the time or you want something from someone else...people become wise to that and realize they can never take you on your word.  Be ta person whose word means something!
     Mean it when you apologize, don't just say you are sorry so that others won't be mad at you, don't just say it to get your way, say it because you really mean it and if you are sorry, show it. Showing it means trying your hardest to change the thing you are sorry for. If you just say you're sorry and never make an effort to change it is hard for people to forgive and forget because the apology is just an empty phrase. A person never knows if you are sincere unless you show it.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

I Want to Earn For Online Writing, Not Online Socializing

     Thee are a lot of sites out there where you can write and earn money still but, you really are not earning for your writing skills on those sites, you earn because you socialize. People aren't drawn to your actual work unless you chit chat a lot. Well for the serous writer that is not really earning for writing. Writing does need advertising but not this constant requirement for the chit chat and socializing to earn. If you have to earn that way then really you are not earning based in what you write and the quality of work you put out there, you are earning baaed on how much time you have to sit in front of the computer and socialize.

     When I first started writing online I wrote for some amazing sites. Associated Content paid for each article and then also residual income based on views that were recieved for each piece. They did not purchae your work unless it met certain guidelins and was something that would draw traffic. You did not have to connect wiht hundreds of other members to earn money. You earned only on the quality of your work.

     Helium was the same way, you did not have to socialize to earn, you wrote, they accepted and the earning began. They accepted lower quality work than Associated at first but later held writers to higher standards.

     I wrote for other content sites too and loved the work. I was making some decent money and know if I had spent more time writing I would have made even more.

     Then along came sites like Bubblews, you wrote posts and all were accepted unless they violated terms of service. There were no quality expectations, anyone could post and it could be complete dribble. The key there was socialization. Well for the serious writer it was fun but not what we are all about.  I did enjoy earning money there but as time progressed they frowned at quality writing more and more, I got tired of the dribble and stopped wasting time there. They also stopped paying well enough to make it worth my time.

     The sites where I earned money for my content seem to all be gone. I have looked and looked for sites like that but now the only way to earn writing online is if you have a lot of time to sit and socialize. I do not have that kind of time and just can't work twelve hour days so I can make a few dollars a day. I won't continue writing for sites where the focus is on my socialization rather than my talent.

     For me now, I will blog for fun and continue to submit my quality work to hard copy magazines and also magazines online. Sadly I think the online writing, content sites are gone which makes me sad.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Remembering 9/11 as a Nation United

       I remember exactly what I was doing on 9/11, I remember watching the horror unfold live.It was heartbreaking for me and I did not know any of those who died. I can only imagine how it was for those who lost loved ones on that day. It was also very scary to have an attack of that magnitude happen on our soil. I also felt the sense of unity and love in our nation on that day and many that followed. We were a nation united, sadly united in grief but also in determination that we would do whatever it takes to prevent something so horrific from ever happening again on our soil.  
     As I see all of the tributes on the news and on Facebook many things go through my mind.  The main thing on my mind though is even though we should honor all those who lost their lives that day, I wonder if the ones who lost loved ones on that day really want to remember that day? I wonder if they really want to see all of the footage of that day every time they turn on the news or get on facebook? I know it makes my heart hurt to see the footage and it makes my heart hurt seeing the pictures of the burning buildings...and I lost no loved ones that day. So, if I had lost a loved one I am not sure I could handle reliving the grief of that day again every year.  I am pretty sure I couldn't handle it. 

     That being said, my feelings are that I will honor those who died on that day, pray for those they left behind and I think that what we should remember is the unity we felt in our great nation in the midst of such great tragedy. Right after we were attacked, we became a Nation United, that is what we need to remember as we honor those who lost their lives that day. We need to remember those who rushed to their aid, those who were quick to respond to the needs of the loved ones and  the love that we felt as a country that night, the love we felt for each other. I remember that love, I remember how so many prejudices just fell away and we all united together that day.  That is my tribute to September 11, 2001.

    God Bless our great nation and may He comfort those who were touched personally by this great tragedy those many years ago.


Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Shopping Carts for Food and Children Only

     Those who know me know that one of my biggest pet peeves is pets in the grocery store. To add to that also are any animals in shopping carts where I put my food. I have said for a long time that stores should have special carts for those with service animals.

     I have called my local Wal Mart about this because I see dogs in carts all of the time. I have complained only to be told that they cannot ask for papers to make sure the animal is a service animal. They can ask two questions and that is all. So I wondered how does this problem get fixed because one store in my town, Safeway, does not allow animals in their carts or at least is more selective about how they handle this issue.

     I have complained to the local health department regarding animals in the store and have been told that they can't stop the stores from allowing that. So I decided to call the Department of Justice American's With Disabilities Act to find out how stores can stop allowing people with pets into the store.

    Today I called and received my answer. I was told by the ADA that stores cannot ask to see papers and can only ask the two questions regarding animals in the grocery store. That was disappointing so I asked the lady how they distinguish whether it is a pet or service animal. I told her that many people take their pets to the store in my town. The lady said sadly many people do that and there's not much that can be done. I told her that was a bummer because in the grocery store where I live people's animals have peed on the floor. She told me if an animal is not house trained the store does not have to allow it in. That was nice to know.

    I was still disappointed that people are allowed to put animals in the shopping carts especially pets. I asked her if people at least have to put down some kind of pad or something when they put their service animal in the shopping cart. She did not miss a beat and told me that service animals are not to be placed in shopping carts. Shopping carts are meant for food and children. She told me where to find it on the ADA website FAQ so I thanked her and looked it up.

     Finally this can be put to a stop hopefully. I have no problem with people bringing their service animals with them. I know it is necessary. I also wondered many times how the animal would be of any help if placed in a shopping cart. I also found out that service animals must be house trained and well behaved in the store. They can't sniff the food etc.

    The people who take their pets to the store will hopefully have to keep them home or carry them if they wish to continue lying. Shopping carts are for food and children, animals no allowed.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Service Matters: Poor Customer Service Baked in Telluride

     Service is very important in any business. Sometimes service will make or break whether or not you return to an establishment. Yesterday for my son and I the service at a restaurant in Telluride Colorado was so poor that we will never return.

     We decided to spend a day in Telluride Colorado. We would have had lunch in Mountain Village but several people told us to try Baked in Telluride. So we decided to give them a try. We had been there many years before and the food was horrible but things have changed and well I will always give a business a second chance.

    This restaurnt is a counter service establishment. So when you enter, to the left is where you place an order, to the right are talbes as well as tables outside. We saw the counter and other people standing an waiting. The man behind the counter was wating on a customer and he was not smiling at all. After that customer left I asked another person waiting and he said he was waring for his pizza so we went up to the counter. The employee was not looking our direction but when he did he came over to the register and asked what he could get for us in a monetone voice. It was as if he was irritated that we were there. The menu read that the pizza crust is sourdough and I just asked if that was the only dough they had. He said it was. I just chuckled and said I don't like sourdough but I'd give it a try. We ordered a pizza and drinks. He never stated that you get your own drinks and the drink station is sort of behind the service counter so we were not sure. I asked and he said yes in an irritated tone.

     The service that he gave us was not why we will never return though. There was an elderly man in the restuarant, this man had bagged up some cookies he was going to purchase and he placed them on a counter across from the register. There were several people in the area waiting for their food. The cashier said in yet again his irritated voice "can I help you?" the man did not reply so the cashier asked if he could help him again. The man obviously did not hear him because he was not looking at him and then turned to make a phone call. The man was caling to find out if he needed to get anything else. In the mean time though the man behind the counter said loud enough that I heard it "he must be hard of hearing."  That remark was rude and uncalled for.

     We stood waiting for our pizza for 15 minutes which was fine.  But we also had that amount of time to watch the man behind the counter treat many more customers hateful....and he never smiled one time.

     The other cashier was not much better. She did not smile either. The attitude of these workers and just the atmosphere made me feel like they think they are too good for the people they serve.

     The man who cooked and gave us our pizza however was nice and the food was very tasty. But we will never return because of the customer service that we and others recieved. The atmosphere in the extablishemnt is also cold an unwelcoming.

     Service does matter, even if a product is good, poor attitude and service will turn people away.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Social Media Relationship Destruction: Why I Avoid Controversy on Facebook-Not Everyone Respects the Views of Others

     Social media is a fun way to stay in touch with other people, it is a great way to get back in touch with long lost friends, it is also a way to meet new friends and share your life and daily events without having to send a message to each friend or relative. Sadly it is also a place where relationships end. People tend to say things on social media sites they would not say in person, discuss things with people whom they would not discuss topics with in person and a way that people become easily offended becuase well, sometimes we post or share things that we think are alright but others take offense or maybe just misunderstand and instead of trying to work it out people hit that unfriend button ending not only a social media relationship but a real life one too.

    This has happened to me a few times. One time it was not my fault, I still am baffled about the reason the friend decided to stop being friends. The other time was my fault because I did not keep my thoughts to myself and someone else took offense to my beliefs. It is sad the person did that and in all honesty I knew he and I were on different sides of an issue however really did not think the way I handled things warranted his behavior.

     The incident that was not my fault stemmed from an innocent post I put up about my sons high school theater production. The school had also decided to have a basketball tournament the same weekend  even though the theater department scheduled the play first. Our school was not even a part of the tournament and it was not our district but they let them use the school.  Both events use the same commons area and even though we had signs up stating that there was a play in progress the people with the basketball tournament were extremely loud. Some of them banged on the walls of the theater and made it very hard for our kids performance to be heard. but they prevailed and the show was great!.

     I put up a post stating that our kids did a great job despite the noise. That was all I said. A fellow drama parent comment that our kids did a great job despite the rudeness of the people in the commons area and it was sad that they were so loud. She commented that our kids work hard. Then I replied saying "yes our kids work very hard." That was all I said. It was all true and no one said anything mean or hateful.

     A friend of mine for 32 years had a daughter whose friends were in basketball and she saw the post and came back with a comment stating that the kids in sports work hard too and they deserve to be there as much as the theater kids. I responded telling her I agree the kids in sports work hard and that we only meant that the people in the commons area were loud making it hard for our kids to perform and be heard. I also pointed out that the school should not have scheduled the event the same time as the play since we had been on the schedule first. That was about all. My friend of 32 years unfriended me on Facebook and said I was toxic. There had been nothing wrong between us, we had talked just a few days before so the entire thing was over those comments on Facebook.  I tried to see if we could maybe have a real life friendship but she turned away and threw our friendship away. So there was one relationship gone because for some reason someone took things said on social media as a personal attack when that was not the purpose.

     The other friendship destruction was kind of my fault.  I had been friends with s musician I met in California. He was a lot of fun and I really enjoyed our friendship.  I also knew that we were on totally different sides of political issues and that was ok with me.  I just did not discuss politics with him. I don't post political or religious  things on my FB because I have many friends with whom I do not agree politically or where religion is concerned.  I am respect other peoples views and thoughts, when I see posts on their wall I do not agree with, I move on and respect their right to their beliefs. Not everyone is that way, some people seem to think if you disagree with them it is time to attack and argue. So I just avoid those issues.

    When Osama Ben Lauden was assassinated I posted that I was thankful to those who were involveed. That was all I said thinking it was simple enough. Then my musician friend added "and thanks to our President". I added "a special thnanks to our troops." he added "and our President" again. I knew that would spark a Facebook fight and I did not want that on my wall. He had said that once and I did not think it needed to be said again so I deleted that comment on my wall. Then the fight started between him and many of my Facebook friends. I stayed out of it until my musician friend started cussing and then made a comment about me deleting his post. I tried to explain that he said it once and I really did not want it to turn into the fight that was going on. He said many mean and cruel things nad told me never to talk to him again. So that was that. He was allowed his beliefs but can't be friends with people who have differening thoughts or views. His loss.

     I almost lost a friend over my view about algebra which really shocked me.

     Since the loss of those friends I have had others leave my life because they get mad over this or that...most times I do not know or understand their anger. I try not to post things that are controversial because I know how it turns out.

     If I see or think of something controversial I also ask myself if that is something I would say to all on my FB friends list in person, I ask if it is something I would discuss with everyone on my wall, I ask myself if everyone on my wall is open enough and respectful enough to respect other points of view and take it as a discussion instead of turning it into an argument. Most of the time my answer is "no". Then I ask if it is worth the fight or worth losing some friends over and most of the time I decide that it is not. So, I just have conversations in private with those who respect my point of view. I don't expect people to agree with me but I do expect the same respect I give them. I have been shocked by the people who really do not respect others points of view. It saddens me they are that way but, that is why they say not to discuss politics or religion with some people.

      I have also seen couples enter into huge fights over Facebook posts and that makes me sad. It is just social media, people post stuff and well I think many times it is taken a bit too seriously. It is not the real world, it is a cyber world which should not dictate the survival or demise of anything real.

     Do I sometime say things forgetting that it is social media and some people are offended by or angered by things that I don't see as offensive or something to get mad about...oh yea I do. I guess the only way to not offend someone is to keep it all roses and sunshine...I do work hard to stray from controversy and destructive posts so that my real world is not harmed by the cyber world of social networking.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

My First Hard Copy Publication

     Sometimes it is quite the struggle when you are a writer. Submit, get that rejection and then submit again. Imagine the excitement when you finally see your article in a magazine, not an online magazine but a hard copy magazine. Today I had that excitement!

     The article I wrote was actually published in 2014 and I received my copy of the magazine back in 2014 not realizing that my article was included. The publisher had purchased my article several months prior to the publication but, I never heard more about it. When I received the magazine I looked and looked for my article but just did not see it. I put the magazines away and planned to call them at a later date to see what was going on.

     Well, that later date was today September 1, 2015. Yes I totally forgot about the magazine. I know, crazy, but I did. They pointed out that my piece was in their summer publication, just a portion was published in that particular volume though because they want to use other pieces of my work in later magazines. So not only will I be published once in their magazine but three different times. How exciting!

    I am sure many of you are wondering what magazine, well I will tell you of course. It is Green Prints "The Weeders Digest" Summer 2014 publication. It is a very beautiful book/magazine. My story is on page 28 titled Pepper Puzzle.

     I am very thrilled to see my words in hard copy print in a legit magazine. I am excited because it is just neat and also it is great for my writing resume.


The Life of a Writer: Submit, Rejection Letter, Submit Again and Again...

     I decided to start this new blog so I can share my success and sometimes not success in writing. I will not say failure because well in writing nothing is failure. It just takes a while for good things to happen. It can get discouraging sometimes but the main thing to remember is that someday, sometime there will be a place for my writing to find a home.

     I started writing poetry when I was a teenager. I loved to write poetry but, poetry is not something you just write, it is something that just comes to you. I have not written many poems in years because well, I just haven't felt poetry.

     I wrote several children's books when my sons were young and am still in the process of find tuning some to send off for publication. There are a few that I can send now but one of them does need more work.  I spent too much time trying to find an illustrator for three of my picture books. Now it is time to submit and let the cards fall where they may.

    I have been published many times at online writings sites. The sad thing is that most of them are no longer around. The good thing is that I made some very decent money while they were. I miss those sites a lot.

     The life of an author is not about success, it is about submissions, rejection letters and submitting again. A writer does get discouraged but that can not define you. It is important to dust off and keep submitting for someday your article or book will find that certain publisher who says "hey this is for us." So until that time it will be a life of submit, reject and submit again.