Tuesday, August 19, 2014

I'm A Smart-Phone Virgin

Sunday afternoon, I went to Verizon and came home with this:




Exciting, right? 

I was like a kid trying to choose a piece of candy as hubby and I browsed all the techy gadgets. Since neither of us have upgraded our phones since 2003--(We both had flip phones which we both loved.) I figured they should have given us 5 free phones, but let's not get into that. We decided to be frugal and choose a model that was free to upgrade. The Droid Mini. It's not really 'mini,' but it's smaller than the 'Ultra.' Whatever.  

Choosing from the 'Free phone' counter is almost like an arranged marriage. Verizon is like a matchmaker who chooses a model for you. You either learn to love it, pay the cancellation fee (which is cheaper than a real divorce,) or you live in misery until the two years are over. In any case, hubby and I are still in the wedding-night stage with our phones. 

Anywho, I immediately downloaded VZ Navigation (for a $4.99/month charge, of course.) because when I'm driving alone, I can't find my way out of a wet paper bag. I like the turn-by-turn directions, and that my phone will talk to me as I drive. When I got home, my daughter informed me that Google Maps does the same thing. Oh well.

Then, I learned how to take photos. This phone takes really good photos, which will be great for my e-baying, sending Tweetpics and Facebook statuses. 

I downloaded Facebook and Twitter and set my morning alarm. I plugged my phone into the charger and plugged the charger into an electric strip by my nightstand. Unfortunately, I don't know how to shut off the alarm, because this morning, just as the song that took me about 10 minutes to choose, started playing, the phone shut down. Apparently, I had forgotten to turn the strip on. Not apparently--I just forgot. I should probably stay away from electronics.

Anyway, all day at work, the phone buzzed, booped, beeped, and vibrated, letting me know I had an e-mail, a Facebook notification, a Twitter mention, and texts. It drove me crazy. I tried to figure out how to turn off notification sounds. I'm still trying. 

In the meantime, I removed Facebook and Twitter until I can decipher it. Besides, I stumbled across all the things I was permitting Facebook to do with my phone. I wasn't too happy. Have you ever read those permissions on your phone? You should. I would've shared that with you, if I could have found it again. Sorry.

There's a long road ahead of me, figuring out this phone. It will probably take me another 11 years to love it. Do you think it'll last until 2025?


If not, I still have this one:

 just in case.


What kind of smart phone do you have? Are you in love or eagerly awaiting your next upgrade?

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Rest in Peace, Robin Williams

I was all ready to go with an already scheduled blog post, but I was so saddened by the news of Robin Williams' death that I had to write a new post.

The first time I saw Robin Williams was on Mork & Mindy.


Even though the show was goofy, he captured my heart.

He was a very talented actor, with or without his beard, and I enjoyed almost all of his movies. Some of my favorites were What Dreams May ComeThe BirdcageAwakenings, and of course, Mrs. Doubtfire.

His death is such a tragedy, and I don't know what else to say except that I hope his family can find peace.


Thank you, Robin Williams, for bringing me both laughter and tears, and for sharing your gift with us all. May you rest in peace.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

100 Years, 100 Films, 100 Nights I Won't Write.

Recently, I stumbled across one of those time-sucking Facebook quizzes that asked a few irrelevant questions and then calculated how many more cats you should own. Or something like that. Anyway, one of the questions asked whether or not you watched every movie on the American Film Institute's 100 Years, 100 Movies. I had watched almost more than half of them, but most of them I'd seen more than 20 years ago. I thought it would be fun to watch them in order, starting with #100.

My daughter, Amanda, was on board with me and suggested we should write something about each movie. We entered the movies on my Netflix queue.
I rustled up an unused journal, (We have a few in my house.) and decorated the cover.


After watching the movie, we take turns jotting our thoughts into the journal--keeping the year of production in mind, we write a paragraph or two about how the movie made us feel, what we thought about the story, the acting, or the cinematography. Of course we each use different color pens, because that's how we roll.


So far, life has gotten in the way, along with SYTYCD and the new Starz Outlander series, so we've only watched 2-1/2 movies. I'm hoping to set aside 2 nights a week to catch up, which means that will be 100 nights that I'm not writing. But hey, I need to look at it as quality time with my daughter, right? We'll see how that goes...

Here's the 10th Anniversary list of AFI's 100 Years, 100 Movies:

#MOVIEYEAR
1CITIZEN KANE1941
2THE GODFATHER1972
3CASABLANCA1942
4RAGING BULL1980
5SINGIN' IN THE RAIN1952
6GONE WITH THE WIND1939
7LAWRENCE OF ARABIA1962
8SCHINDLER'S LIST1993
9VERTIGO1958
10THE WIZARD OF OZ1939
11CITY LIGHTS1931
12THE SEARCHERS1956
13STAR WARS1977
14PSYCHO1960
152001: A SPACE ODYSSEY1968
16SUNSET BLVD.1950
17THE GRADUATE1967
18THE GENERAL1927
19ON THE WATERFRONT1954
20IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE1946
21CHINATOWN1974
22SOME LIKE IT HOT1959
23THE GRAPES OF WRATH1940
24E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL1982
25TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD1962
26MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON1939
27HIGH NOON1952
28ALL ABOUT EVE1950
29DOUBLE INDEMNITY1944
30APOCALYPSE NOW1979
31THE MALTESE FALCON1941
32THE GODFATHER PART II1974
33ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST1975
34SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS1937
35ANNIE HALL1977
36THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI1957
37THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES1946
38THE TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE1948
39DR. STRANGELOVE1964
40THE SOUND OF MUSIC1965
41KING KONG1933
42BONNIE AND CLYDE1967
43MIDNIGHT COWBOY1969
44THE PHILADELPHIA STORY1940
45SHANE1953
46IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT1934
47A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE1951
48REAR WINDOW1954
49INTOLERANCE1916
50THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING2001
51WEST SIDE STORY1961
52TAXI DRIVER1976
53THE DEER HUNTER1978
54M*A*S*H1970
55NORTH BY NORTHWEST1959
56JAWS1975
57ROCKY1976
58THE GOLD RUSH1925
59NASHVILLE1975
60DUCK SOUP1933
61SULLIVAN'S TRAVELS1941
62AMERICAN GRAFFITI1973
63CABARET1972
64NETWORK1976
65THE AFRICAN QUEEN1951
66RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK1981
67WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF?1966
68UNFORGIVEN1992
69TOOTSIE1982
70A CLOCKWORK ORANGE1971
71SAVING PRIVATE RYAN1998
72THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION1994
73BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID1969
74THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS1991
75IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT1967
76FORREST GUMP1994
77ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN1976
78MODERN TIMES1936
79THE WILD BUNCH1969
80THE APARTMENT1960
81SPARTACUS1960
82SUNRISE1927
83TITANIC1997
84EASY RIDER1969
85A NIGHT AT THE OPERA1935
86PLATOON1986
8712 ANGRY MEN1957
88BRINGING UP BABY1938
89THE SIXTH SENSE1999
90SWING TIME1936
91SOPHIE'S CHOICE1982
92GOODFELLAS1990
93THE FRENCH CONNECTION1971
94PULP FICTION1994
95THE LAST PICTURE SHOW1971
96DO THE RIGHT THING1989
97BLADE RUNNER1982
98YANKEE DOODLE DANDY1942
99TOY STORY1995
100BEN-HUR1959

How many have you seen?

Friday, August 1, 2014

Just For Laughs

Happy Friday! Here are a few giggles I found around the interwebs. Enjoy!


If Moses were alive today he’d come down from the mountain with the Ten Commandments and spend the next five years trying to get them published.
- Anonymous


The dubious privilege of a freelance writer is he’s given the freedom to starve anywhere. 

- S.J. Perelman



As far as I'm concerned, "whom" is a word that was invented to make everyone sound like a butler.
- Calvin Trillin





Writing is a socially acceptable form of getting naked in public.
- Paulo Coelho





How many mystery writers does it take to change a light bulb? 
Two. One to screw the bulb almost all the way in, and one to give a surprising twist at the end.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Getting Rid of Clutter. Sort of...

You may know that my daughter is home again. She finished her schooling and decided to return to the North East while she does some soul-searching and job hunting. I'm so happy to have her home. I'm not so happy about the three years worth of stuff she brought home. Almost every room in our house is cluttered again. So we decided to start weeding out some of her things and make her a little money at the same time. Ebay to the rescue!

If you've ever sold anything on Ebay, you probably know how time-consuming the whole process can be. I try to list 3-5 items every evening. You must take photos and enter as much information you feel is relevant to the prospective bidder, set a price, weigh and measure the item in an appropriate shipping envelope or box and then wait for millions of people to stumble across your item. 

Since I'm such an obsessive type of person, I find myself frequently checking my Ebay listings for watchers and bidders. At least it keeps me from stalking my e-mail for manuscript acceptance notifications. Unfortunately, with all the Ebaying going on, I haven't submitted many manuscripts. But, (famous last words here), once the clutter is more manageable maybe I'll be more productive. Maybe.

The thing is--I've been finding these awesome books on Ebay, just calling out my name. Like this children's book I picked up for $5.00.


 This book belonged to a little girl named Deborah. It was printed in 1908 and cost 50 cents!



 Look at the beautiful illustrations!

And this set of books for $9.99 was a steal!


This book belonged to Edna in 1896!




This one belonged to Gerald. He received the book as a prize in 1926. 



And my favorite--also belonged to Edna in 1901. Look at that cover!



I love that children wrote their names in these books. I like to imagine that they held them in their little hands and were transported to new lands as they read the stories. 

I think of them as 'Rescue Books.' Some people rescue dogs and cats, I like to rescue old books. They're thick and heavy, and some of them are falling apart, but they smell GLORIOUS! 

What's that you say? I'm supposed to be getting rid of stuff, not acquiring more? Yes, yes. I'm limiting myself. Well, I'm trying to anyway. Besides, I have a whole shelf in my bookcase that hold those books quite nicely. So, if they have a place, they aren't clutter. Right?

Do you buy or sell on Ebay? What do you like to 'Rescue?'

Friday, July 25, 2014

Character Interview--John Jeffers of Captain's Point by Charlotte Kent

I have a treat for you today: an interview with a character from the CAPTAIN'S POINT series by Charlotte Kent. Sit back, relax, and get to know John Jeffers. 




Talented musician and composer, accomplished adventurer and internationally known author John Jeffers has taken time out from his busy schedule in his new home of Captain’s Point, Maryland and granted us a rare interview. With 11 literary novels under his belt, as well as his Anderson detective series stories, we want to know how he’s spending his time these days and what’s next for him.

Q: Mr. Jeffers, tell us about this new chapter of your life that’s unfolding in your new hometown.

A: First of all, I’d like to say thank you for this opportunity to update my readers. Ever since I came to live in Captain’s Point after my Uncle Ivan’s death, I have never been more content. Spending my life here with my beautiful bride Susan and stepson Daniel brings me the kind of joy few even dream of attaining. My days are filled with fun family activities, time spent with true friends, writing and enjoying my musical pursuits as a member of the Captain’s Point Chamber Orchestra. That’s not to say that I don’t have a few additional irons in the fire.

Q: Your readers are familiar with your Anderson detective series, will you be completing another novel soon?

A: I won’t give anything away before my publisher knows about it, but I can safely say that my readers will not be disappointed as all my series are alive and well. Stay tuned.

Q: We’re aware of your most recent concert appearance debuting your newest composition with the String Flings. Do you have any other concert appearances planned for the near future?

A: I can’t rule anything out. Music as well as writing is about inspiration, and life here in Captain’s Point provides constant inspiration as I appreciate all the gifts I’ve been given.

Q: Rumor has it now you’ve established your residency in Captain’s Point, you have political aspirations?

A: I won’t confirm or deny any rumors. The world will have to wait and see, or should I say read and see. If and when I decide to do something, I give it my all, body and soul, whether writing a book or composing a piece of music.

Q: Can you give us a hint of what we can look forward to from the pen of John Jeffers?

A: With the majestic Atlantic Ocean at my doorstep and the unconditional love and support of my wife and son, the sky’s the limit for me.







Charlotte Kent is the pseudonym used by Annie Acorn and Juliette Hill when writing their collaborative contemporary romantic/women’s fiction/family saga series Captain’s Point Stories.
You may contact and/or follow the authors at:
charlottekentromances@gmail.com
@CharlotteKent20
http://www.annieacornpublishing.com
Books, Stories and Box Set in our Captain’s Point Stories Series:
A Clue for Adrianna http://amzn.to/ZqYJz9
A Man for Susan http://amzn.to/16ecUfI
Love’s Journey http://amzn.to/18T4JWa
Love’s Surprise http://amzn.to/1wY5qMg
A Christmas Kiss http://amzn.to/15fzIQc
A Valentine Surprise  http://amzn.to/1ezPVBx 
Captain’s Point Stories Box Set http://amzn.to/JgLvnc 
Titles also available in the UK and on Barnes and Noble, Kobo and iTunes.


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Nothing To Say

If you have nothing to say. You should blog about it. ~ Hugh Macleod

I haven't written a blog post in almost two months. I know you'll think I'm going to tell you I've been busy, but the truth is I've had nothing to say.

It's the Summer. I have a few friends that LOVE the Summer. They love the sun and warm weather. For me, the Summer is draining. I hate the heat, and now that I'm older, I can't stand the sun. I know the sun is important for life. The sun is good for my vegetable plants, and I know sunshine is full of vitamins, but unless I'm in a Caribbean resort with a swim-up pool bar that serves frozen Pina Coladas and Margaritas, I can't sit in the sun for longer than 5 minutes. Then again, pool bars are usually shaded.

Summer is usually very busy in the automotive repair business. College kids are home from school, families go on vacation and they all want to make sure their vehicles are safe. Lots of work means longer hours. I don't get home until almost 7pm.

I don't live near a beach. We don't have a pool anymore because by the time we get home, nobody feels like cleaning it or maintaining it. My home, my car and my business office are air-conditioned. I go outside to water my vegetables after 7pm, when the sun isn't as hot. I turn into a vampire in the Summer.

After cooking dinner, cleaning up the kitchen and then doing paperwork that I couldn't complete at work, I'm fried. I spend some time checking Facebook and e-mails, but I'm too tired to do anything else.

Yeah, I'm not a fan of Summer. Thankfully, it's almost over. I'm looking forward to the Fall. I'm always more productive in the Fall. Well, we'll see...

How is Summer treating you?