Op-Ed

The Tear-Down Culture

26 May , 2018  

Controversy and debate keep life interesting. Ideally, they make us think – they make us examine our values and why we we hold them near and dear. They help us get to know others better, and maybe to appreciate how their life experiences have shaped their ideas. They may even persuade us to think differently, […]

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Blogging & Social Media Tips

Telegram or Smoke Signals?

21 May , 2018  

Since shuttering my Facebook accounts, including WhatsApp and Instagram, I have had time to explore alternatives. I’ve tried out Viber and Signal, but the only Messenger replacement I’m really enjoying – while trying to recruit more users to make it more fun and interesting – is Telegram. In terms of privacy and security, it’s much […]

Humor, Op-Ed

One Stitch at a Time (#MondayMusings, #CrochetInsights)

21 May , 2018  

Meditation There are natural nothing-thinkers in the world; I’m not one of them.  The directive to “make your mind a blank” tends to have the opposite effect on me, like, “don’t think of pink elephants sipping Cosmos on the moon.” I try to think of nothing, but it’s a half-hearted effort. At best, I just […]

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Blogging & Social Media Tips, Technical & How-to

Using Social Media to Complain

9 May , 2018  

Oh, the power of social media! Where once we might have been limited to telling 15 of our closest friends about our negative experience with BrandX, we now have the bully-pulpit of blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and a host of other channels by which to trash our least-favorite brand of the moment. Using social media to […]

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Blogging & Social Media Tips

Easily Resize Smartphone Images for Your Blog

4 May , 2018  

Most of the images on this blog are mine. The few that I did not take, myself, are used with permission, licensed under creative commons, or public domain images. But I prefer to use my own, and as digital cameras and camera phones improve in quality and usability, they also produce much larger files that […]

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Blogging & Social Media Tips, Humor, Visual Perspectives

Scavenger Hunt May 2018 #Hunt4AFreshPerspective!

1 May , 2018  

It’s SUMMER! It’s a LINK PARTY! Remember summer scavenger hunts, running through the streets with a list of things to bring back from the neighbors? Only kids can get by with that sort of thing, I think! It was fun while it lasted, but just try asking your neighbor for a cup of sugar, a […]

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Op-Ed

Hero Tammie Jo Shults Earned Those Wings (a #WATWB Post)

29 Apr , 2018  

She’s the kind of hero we hope and pray we never need and don’t like to think about needing while traveling in a tin can with wings, 35,000 feet above the planet. But to anyone who doubts that a woman has what it takes to fly a fighter jet or a commercial airliner, or who […]

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Technical & How-to, Uncategorized

Location Sharing: How and Why (Not)?

28 Apr , 2018  

It’s not a new feature, but I stumbled across Google Maps Location Sharing almost by accident, one weekend, while walking in the park. It seemed prudent to share my location with a few family members and nearby friends, in case I dropped dead of heat exhaustion or got eaten by an alligator. I kid you […]

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Op-Ed

The Kind of Hero We Need (a #WATWB Post)

28 Apr , 2018  

No Time to Waffle I’m convinced that nothing good happens in the wee hours of the morning, and it’s not proper to leave the house before coffee’s brewed and in the cup. But it’s not that simple: In those early morning hours, sleepy cities start to stir; babies are born; darkness gives way to dawn, […]

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Poetry

Devilishly Dangerous: a Double Acrostic

7 Apr , 2018  

Face facts: some are ruled by hope and some by fear. All are mortal, even you. Yes, even you, Comrade, with your hundred smiling Facebook faces. Each keystroke, rat-a-tat-tat, fires gunshots Branding terror, while jaded papparazzi Offer bounties for another shot, a One-time deal, exceptional, American Killings as natural as apple pies. Mitchell Allen is […]

Poetry

April is Poetry Month

2 Apr , 2018  

Why on Earth in April? The poet T.S. Eliot famously declared: April is the cruellest month, breeding Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing Memory and desire, stirring Dull roots with spring rain. The cruelest thing about it was expecting restless high schoolers, too fresh-faced to have experienced life, death, and all the memories between, […]

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Op-Ed

I’m Not a Patsy for Russian Propaganda, YOU Are! :P

25 Mar , 2018  

Listening to people argue that there is no way they were manipulated by some foreign power’s social media propaganda machine is both amusing and disheartening. I can understand deep denial and the impulse to say, “Hey, even though I shared 79 posts from a known Russian bot, no way was my vote influenced by it!” […]

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Op-Ed

Deep Breaths… #DeleteFacebook

24 Mar , 2018  

It’s an addiction. Back in the 1980s, early 1990s, I posited the idea of “online addiction” and got nothing but funny looks. Now, the inclusion of “Internet Addiction Disorder” is studied and its inclusion in the DSM is seriously considered (though as of this writing, it is not a defined psychiatric disorder – you can […]

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Uncategorized

Spring Showers MAY Bring May Flowers to the Garden

17 Mar , 2018  

Spring has sprung with a vengeance – flinging us from 40ºF to 84ºF in the blink of an eye. I have stare-downs from the kitchen table with the garden gnome. Is it just me, or has he moved since I last mentioned him here? I’m pretty sure he does that just to freak me out. […]

Cooking, Reading

The It’s-Not-a-Book-Report Report

11 Mar , 2018  

These are the books I’ve read or bought since I wrote “Curing the Reading Drought.” The cookbooks, Roger Ebert’s The Pot and How to Use it, and The Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook by Beth Hensperger and Julie Kaufmann will require a bit of creative adaptation; they have, in fact, inspired me to begin work, with […]

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Blogging & Social Media Tips, Op-Ed

Reputation Matters: Beware Ad Servers

11 Mar , 2018  

Are Ad Servers Worth It? I have thrown in the towel and removed AdSense from my blog for the second time. In just over ten years, I’ve earned $96.37. Unfortunately, Google doesn’t have to cut me a check until I’ve earned $100. I thought maybe, just maybe, I could manage to earn that last three […]

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Blogging & Social Media Tips, Humor

President? Bah! I’ve Been Declared QUEEN!

9 Mar , 2018  

Queen of the No-Niche Bloggers, that is! Rasheed Hooda, aka, “Mister Weirdo,” (never to be confused with Mr. Weirdo) –  the man who, at age 62, walked from Chicago, Illinois to Santa Barbara, California, has handed me the virtual scepter in his post, “My Favorite No-Niche Bloggers.” I have apparently fallen down on the SEO, […]

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Keyboard in Purple

On Writing

Spun Up

1 Mar , 2018  

I read a student essay, recently, that I would swear was written by someone for whom English was a second (or distant third) language. The conspicuous overuse of a thesaurus was one red flag.  The more I thought about it, the more certain I was that it was written on Fiverr and spun through an […]

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On Writing

Weird Words Make for Weird Spellings

24 Feb , 2018  

Is it jif, as in JIF brand peanut butter? Or gif, as in gift? Seems a strange thing for a giraffe to quibble over, especially if the inventor calls it jif. Weird words lead to weird arguments. Does the parent get to name the baby, or must he follow linguistic conventions? To say gif seems […]

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On Writing

Weirdly Competitive

19 Feb , 2018  

I am weirdly competitive. I thought it was just me, but my friend Allie mentioned being “highly competitive when it doesn’t count” and I just burst out laughing. Now I find that my friend Mitch has a little streak of it; he rose to the challenge of writing a whole blog post without commas.  Just […]

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Plot Dragons

Fiction, Reviews

Curing the Reading Drought

18 Feb , 2018  

The Reading Drought How does someone who loves to read, who considers themselves an avid reader, end up going through long, dry spells without actually cracking open a book? This feels like the unburdening confession of a dirty secret I’ve lugged around far too long. I should have Googled sooner: It’s not just me. Read, […]

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Health & Wellness

Update on This Pain in the Neck

18 Feb , 2018  

I’m referring to me, of course. I have no real pain in the neck (or shoulder, arm, or hand), anymore. Would You Let This Woman Drive? Two weeks post-op. My son’s as hopeful as I am about the possibility of my not needing a chauffeur much longer. I’m going a little stir-crazy, and he can’t […]

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Health & Wellness, Humor

Why You Don’t Let Kids Watch Scary Movies

8 Feb , 2018  

When I was a little kid, my dad and I went to the movies together, often. We watched adventure films like Bullitt and Grand Prix and The Hellfighters – which explains why I won’t have gas appliances, pretend the hot water heater’s a dragon living in my attic and insist only my husband can feed […]

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Health & Wellness, Humor

The Bionic Woman Eats BonBons

3 Feb , 2018  

The hybrid cervical disk replacement and fusion surgery – to fuse C5-C6 and replace the C6-C7 disk with a bionic version (Mobi-C) was done a week ago Friday at CHI St. LukeThe Vintage. Fitting for A Fresh Perspective, I’ve seen this hospital many times – from the back side – while walking around Kickerillo-Mischer Nature Preserve. Now, […]

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Dreams, Reviews

Those Other Places

20 Jan , 2018  

We all have those other places. The places we go, when we drift out of consciousness. I had an odd dream, last night. We’d been traveling to a place that doesn’t exist, on a large ship. In one scene, there was a fascinating spider. It was a spider, but it was also a man – […]

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Health & Wellness

I Swear, I Wasn’t Asking!

10 Jan , 2018  

Remember how I said, “Never, ever, ask“? Well, I swear I wasn’t asking! But Karma has a wicked sense of humor. A bit of background: First, I’m needlephobic. I’m pretty sure this fear is related to my fear of spiders, hornets, and venomous snakes. I can mostly control my reaction, meaning I no longer have […]

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Blogging & Social Media Tips

Liebster Award

6 Jan , 2018  

What is The Liebster Award? The Liebster Award is a tag which helps new bloggers get noticed, connect with each other and make relationships in the blogging community. I am not a “new blogger,” but I am, nonetheless, honored to be given the award by my friend Roy A. Ackerman, Ph.D, E.A., whose middle initial […]

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Op-Ed

Ice and Dispassion

6 Jan , 2018  

So, I bought the book. Yes, that book. I normally refuse to follow the crowd when it comes to “the most talked-about bestseller on the planet right now,” but when my husband asked me, over dinner, if I’d pre-ordered the book, I realized that it fit in nicely with two of my 2018 goals for […]

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Health & Wellness, Humor

Never, Ever, Ask

4 Jan , 2018  

Never, ever ask a writer, “How much worse could it be?” Because we can always imagine something… 2018 got off to a happy, auspicious start, for me, personally – I got to spend the holidays with family in Dallas. Even frigid temps were mostly cause for mirth; how often can you say it’s colder in […]

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Journal

Resolutions 2018

31 Dec , 2017  

I considered going back to my former, iron-clad resolution: “Make no stupid resolutions you have no intention of keeping.” My commitment – my resolve – has faltered, gradually, the last few years, and that’s one resolution I always managed to keep, till that day a few years ago when I decided to tempt fate and […]

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