Saturday, May 10, 2008

Its Time to Get Personal!

I've gotten to where I don't buy cards for special occasions nearly as much as I used to. For one thing, it takes me forever to pick one out. They never say what I want them to say or the picture doesn't fit the situation. I just never can find the right combination. For another thing, they are expensive. They are also generic out of necessity. I mean, they have to fit a lot of people, right? Then you take the card you have so carefully chosen and whoever gets it skims over it really quickly and tosses it aside. The whole process is much ado about nothing.

Well, its difficult to give a gift without a card so I started making my own. I still do that for very special occasions or people. I have found some very nice cards online. They are the best of everything for me. They are personal without being overly time consuming or expensive. You can buy them in bulk so that you have them ready when you need them. Most cards you buy at your local store are going to cost you about $4. At Card Direct you can get cards for $1.50 and $2. As you can tell from the card pictured in this post, they are very nice looking, good quality cards.

You can get cards made to order at Cards Direct, combining their quality cards and covers with your own photos to create something that's as special as the gift you are giving. How nice to create your own unique birthday cards! Or what about a creative Christmas card? The personal cards I have received mean so much more to me than the generic ho-ho-ho cards I get at Christmas or the birthday cake and candles cards I get on my birthday.

Cards Direct has a large line of cards for just about any occasion you can think of. They also offer the same services for businesses. You can have customized cards printed up to announce new events at your business, or have birthday cards made up for valued customers. As you know, branding your business is important for marketing. With this service you can use your logo and brand on everything you send out.

The services there are quick and easy to use. Its personal and best of all the prices are great and you can do it all from right behind your computer.

Going out to Eat with Beloved Curmudgeon

Adam and EveAs I write this, my Beloved Curmudgeon is watching one of Clint Eastwood's spaghetti westerns. I don't know which one. Does it matter? They all have the same characters, are filmed in the same place and have the same music.

I am often blogging with any one of those movies playing in the background. Our lives are exciting that way.

We had some real excitement today. I'll tell you about it.

My Beloved Curmudgeon asked me on a date. He said, 'I haven't had a good steak in a long time, wanna go get one for lunch?'. My heart fluttered at the romance of it and I said that yes, I would like to do that! This conversation transpired first thing this morning, so I had a while to get my mouth set for a good juicy red steak. By lunch time I was definitely hungry and very much wanting a steak.

We drove past one steak house to go to another on the other side of town. That was okay, I like them both. Unfortunately, when we got to the other steakhouse, it was closed. It's only open for dinner. My Beloved Curmudgeon said we shouldn't drive all the way back across town, why don't we just go to IHOP that is right next door to the closed steak house.

I really wanted a steak, but being a good co-dependent type person I said that would be okay. I said, 'IHOP is okay' in my most pathetic tone that should have told him I really wanted to go get a steak. He didn't read my mind and pulled into the IHOP parking lot. A slight chip started creeping up on my shoulder, but I pushed it back down telling myself that it was silly. We'll go get a steak next time.

Being hungry and having had myself all ready for a steak, nothing looked good on the menu at IHOP. I even commented that they had steaks and eggs, but it just wouldn't be the same at IHOP. He still didn't catch on to my mood. He ordered a large breakfast and I ordered pecan pancakes (my mother will disapprove of that - but I did, okay!). When one is in the midst of unsuccessfully putting a guilt trip on one's spouse (unintentionally, of course) one shouldn't order anything of real substance to eat.

Adam & EveA few minutes later the waitress comes out with a huge steaming plate of eggs, bacon and all the trimmings for my Beloved Curmudgeon and little bitty plate with two half-dollar size plain dry pancakes for me. I really hate sending food back, but I looked at that plate and the bite size pancakes just weren't cutting it. I was so hungry.

I sent the pancakes back asking for the pecan pancakes I had actually ordered. The waitress returned in record time and proudly placed in front of me the very same plate with the very same half-dollar size pancakes on it. But now, they had a scattering of pecan pieces tossed on top of them. She didn't hang around long enough for me to send them back this time.

I was dumbfounded and looked at the dry, bite-size pancakes with pecan chips thrown on top and the chip I had been forcing down from my shoulder snuck right back up on it again. I got a little butter packet and made a half-hearted attempt to spread some butter on the now cold little bitty pancakes. The butter just rolled the few pecan chips around on the pancakes. They were getting less appetizing by the second.

My Beloved Curmudgeon noticed I was not a happy camper and asked if I wanted him to handle this. I demurred and he told me to quit being a victim, that he'd take care of it for me if I didn't want to. I demurred again, but was glad to let him be the bad guy this time.

He got the waitress over and asked her about the pancakes. 'We are out of pancake batter,' she explained. She went further and said the cooks should have told her. It wasn't her fault, she said - weakly. My Beloved Curmudgeon said, 'This is the International House of PANCAKES, right? And you don't have PANCAKE batter?'. She said they had pancake batter for anything BUT pecan pancakes.

I asked her for a menu again and I'd just order something else. By this time my Beloved Curmudgeon was finishing his meal and that chip was virtually dancing around on my shoulder as I flipped the pages of the menu without really reading it.

I tossed the menu in the middle of the table and said I'd fix something when we got home. He suggested we stop at a deli we like on the way home. I liked that idea and said we'd do that. We left IHOP and headed to the deli.

I ordered a chicken salad sandwich with walnuts and he decided to get an egg salad sandwich. I know, I know, he'd already eaten. We ran into friends and talked. All of this took a while. We finally got home and I sat the sandwiches down in the kitchen and went to change clothes and wash my hands.

I was REALLY REALLY hungry by the time I came back into the family room with my sandwich box in hand. My Beloved Curmudgeon was eating his sandwich and making a face. I asked him if he didn't like his sandwich.

'It's got nuts in it', he said with a disgusted look on his face. He then went on to complain about che-che delis putting all the extra stuff on when all you want is a plain egg salad sandwich on white bread. I was sympathetic and told him I was sorry he didn't like his sandwich. We actually discussed this for a few minutes with me sitting and holding my little sandwich box still unopened.

I opened my sandwich box looking forward to my chicken salad with walnuts, lettuce and tomato on wheat bread. As soon as I opened the box I realized I had a plain egg salad on white bread.

'Stop!! You're eating my sandwich!!!', I exclaimed.

He stopped in mid-chew and mid-puzzlement over the odd taste of his egg salad and held out the mostly eaten remains of MY chicken salad sandwich. 'Here.' He held it out to me in such a pitiful manner I burst out laughing.

'No wonder it tasted so strange', he said.

I flipped the chip off my shoulder and gladly ate the last few bites of my sandwich while he ate his egg salad sandwich. It hit the spot.

For the rest of the day he mentioned how full he was and I'm still hungry.

Beautiful Grandfather Clocks

grandfather clockI had no idea that there are so many types and styles of grandfather clocks. I was reading about the huge selection of clocks you can find online. Its great that we can do so much of our shopping online, even for items as specialized as a grandfather clock.

Reading about that inspired me to go and look at 1-800-4Clocks and check out their Grandfather Clocks. Home decor is part of your personal fashion. I usually lean towards more contemporary or deco designs so I didn't expect to find much I'd like. I had a certain image in my mind of what a grandfather clock looks like. You know, the ones we've seen in everybody's house since we were kids. Interestingly, they aren't all like that. In fact, there are tons of designs that would fit anyone's personal style and preference!

I like the Kieninger Edwards Grandfather Clock pictured here. It is part of their Kieninger collection. Its sleek, modern, versatile in style and just fabulous! I can picture it in my living room as a focal point when someone walks into the room.

That's just one of many beautiful grandfather clocks you can view at 1-800-4Clocks.

This is just one grandfather clock in a huge selection of beautiful clocks of all kinds. You can shop by brand or type of clock. Their inventory includes wall clocks, mantle clocks. It also includes Howard Miller clocks, Bulova Clocks, Ridgeway Clocks, Kieninger Clocks, Seth Thomas Clocks.

There is something for everyone.

Hancock Movie Trailer (video)

The new Hancock movie trailer premiered exclusively on American Idol on Wednesday night. See it below.

Hancock Movie Trailer (Video)

Columbia Pictures premiered an exclusive new Hancock movie trailer on last week's American Idol. Hancock is obviously not your ordinary superhero. He's fallen on hard times and the public isn't that fond of him anymore. Let's just say, Hancock is not your ordinary superhero!

The Peter Berg film stars Will Smith as the superhero. He has a public relations person (Jason Bateman) helping him repair his image. Hancock's PR person's wife (Charlize Theron) complicates things for Hancock and his image repair.

Well, just watch the trailer, then go see the movie and let me know what you think.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Outsource your Answering Service

Right now you can get a free 7-day trial to see if an online Answering Service is right for you or your business. Map Communications has been an industry leader in providing quality professional Answering Services since 1991. Their specialty is being able to adjust their services to a broad range of industry needs. In other words, whether you are a small business, professional group, government offices or many other types of businesses, Map Communications can handle your specific needs. They customize their dynamic and proprietary answering services to meet a variety of different business needs. You can get basic answering service to a complex call center. It just depends on what your needs are. Some of the custom features offered include:
  • Fastest Pick-Up Times in the Industry
  • Professional & Courteous Receptionists
  • Specialized Call Screening
  • Emergency Response Specialists
  • Your Own Nationwide 800 number
  • Voicemail Services
  • Proprietary Software & In-house IT Dept
  • Custom Account & Software Design
  • Dynamic Online Account Access
  • Interface with your Company Website
  • Advanced On-Call Roster Services
  • Online Messaging via the Web or Email
That’s just a few of their services. It is often beneficial to out-source this type of service as opposed to having to take on the responsibility of additional employees and all of the expenses that come with that. While Map Communication is offering a free trial period, it seems like a good time to try it out and see if it works for you.

Battle At Kruger

The Battle At Kruger is an internet sensation. See the video below.

Battle At Kruger

If you aren't one of the 30 million people who have viewed the Battle At Kruger video on YouTube then you can see it here. Its been on YouTube for over a year and now the two men who filmed the battle are the subject of a new documentary that will be premiering Sunday, May 11th on the National Geographic Channel.

The video was shot at Transport Dam in South Africa's Kruger National Park. It was filmed in 2004 by videographer David "Buzz" Budzinski and photographer Jason Schlosberg who watched as a pack of lions gathered on one side of the watering hole and a herd of buffalo were grazing on the other side. The video shows the outcome of the battle over a baby buffalo is captured and fought over by lions and crocodiles. The buffalo eventually fight off the predators and rescue the baby buffalo.

Its a rare opportunity for us to experience nature vicariously through the lens of YouTube!


Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Help Fight Lupus

Lupus is one of those illnesses that not too many people know much about. I have a cousin who has Lupus and because of that I learned something about the disease.

May is Lupus awareness month, so I thought I'd read a little about what is going on as far as Lupus research, etc. I found that there is an online community that is working to raise money online for lupus research and lupus patients.

The primary website is Firstgiving. The Firstgiving organization is a for-profit company that helps people set up websites to raise money for any United States registered nonprofit organization. All you have to do is sign up through the Firstgiving website and you are good to go. Registration is quick and easy to do.

I looked through some of the sites that have been set up through Firstgiving for Lupus awareness. I was very impressed with how well so many of them are doing! Take a look at, for instance. She is just a couple of hundred dollars from her goal. She's raised an impressive amount of money. On her website she describes what she is trying to do and what the money she is raising will be used for. The people who donate can leave a message that appears on her site. Its very tastefully and well done.

The Brunette Awareness Test

Bouncy Blonde - Watch more free videos
Brunette Awareness Test (Video)

This is the Brunette Awareness Test. How many girls are in this video? If you are Brunette Aware you will be able to give the right answer.

Enjoy .....

Go Ahead - Judge a Podcast by its Cover

Yodio is a great new online service that I think you are going to love. Its a site that makes it possible for you to create cover art to your podcasts. If you are a podcaster or want to be a podcaster, you really need to check out this new service to spice up your podcasts.

You can upload the MP3 file from, add the cover photo and post the embedded player to your blog or website. You can use digital photos to add a personal touch to your podcast. They also have a YouTube type player that your can use to display the art you are using for your podcast.

I'm fixin' to make a podcast using their program.Check it out at

Press Release:


Contact: Clay Loges 206/423-6553 or Kimberly Hankins

Go Ahead - Judge a Podcast by its Cover Yodio Gives Online Users the Ability to Visually Personalize Podcasts

SEATTLE, May 5, 2008 – Yodio introduces podcasters the unique ability to visually wrap podcasts. Much like an album cover, users can create cover photos, producing a complete and total podcasting experience, resulting in podcasts with the ultimate finishing touch. Using any image, photo or piece of art, users can upload an MP3 recording and attach a full size (up to a 10 MB) digital photo.

A survey by Storm/Universal McCann reports that 32 percent of respondents increased their podcast use in the past six months.” Invisible podcasts are ignored podcasts. Yodio allows online users to elevate podcasts to a visually rich, personalized online medium. This new visual element heightens the purpose of any blog or online community-to clearly convey information to fellow online users.

This free service exclusively from Yodio allows users to embed a Yodio player into any blog – but unlike other current methods, Yodio offers a complete and visual package to fully encase the audio podcast. For podcasters who want to go beyond the cover photo, Yodio can be used to create illustrated podcasts using multiple JPEG photos or graphics to attach a graphic to individual audio sections.

“Every picture needs a story; a photo plus audio creates a compelling story,” comments former Corbis CEO and current ZoomAlbum CEO Doug Rowan. “Photographs by themselves don’t really tell the stories. You need people to tell the stories. Yodio is delivering on this need.”

To embed a Yodio player or learn more about Yodio, visit ###

Yodio is a broadcast network where consumers and businesses can power their high-impact messaging to targeted audiences. The foundation of Yodio is an online service for recording, producing, and sharing synchronized audio/p

Yunjin Kim on Craig Ferguson (Video)

Yunjin Kim (Video)

I'm a Lost addict or whatever they are called. Its the Lost version of Trekkies - is there a Trekkie kind of name for Lost people?

In honor of finally getting a new episode of Lost last week, here is a video of Yunjin Kim who plays Sun-Hwa Kwon on the show. She's one of my favorite characters. Her character is so complicated, but then they all are on that show. She's being interviewed on the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. Its a fun interview and I thought you might enjoy it.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Shop Till You Drop Online

I love shopping online. I especially love online shopping promotions and discount promo code bargains! Best Online Coupons has all that and more! They have really done their homework and set up a website that offers great discounts and coupons with some well known and reputable merchants.

They have discount coupons for merchants like, Old Navy, Apple iTunes, just to name a few. When you go to the website you will find there are plenty more to browse though. also offers smart bargains coupons that make the deals you find there even better! does the shopping leg work for you. They work at keeping the best coupons for quality products up to date so you can find them all in one place. All you have to do is click through to her website to find great online coupon shopping deals. They have them there waiting for you!

Martin Strel Swims the Amazon River

Martin Strel is an experienced expedition swimmer who made history swimming the Amazon River. He was released from the hospital today following complications from health problems brought on by his swim. Read more about him and see a video and photo below.

Martin Strel

Martin Strel, the 52-year-old Slovenian man who swam the 3,274-mile length of the Amazon River, is released from the hospital Monday and recovering from health problems brought on by the 66-day swim. Martin Strel is hospitalized with high blood pressure and dizziness on Sunday immediately after completing the swim.

On April 7, 2007 marathon swimmer Martin Strel made a history with setting a world record by swimming 5268 Kms (3274 Miles) down the Amazon river. Book and Film are going to be produced.

Before leaving for the United States, Martin Strel told a press conference that he was feeling well and was ready to swim the length of the Mississippi river. As he remained confident, Strel also said that he believes that nature is on his side.

Amazon swimmer Martin Strel was mistakenly reported below as saying that he was swimming the length of the Amazon river from Peru’s Atlantic coast. Peru has no Atlantic coast but the river empties into the Atlantic after flowing through Brazil.

On Sunday, April 8, 2007, a 52-year-old self-described fat man in a Speedo by the name of Martin Strel swam 3,274 miles of the Amazon River. The Fish Man, as he was called by locals, almost died in the process several times.

After 3,272 miles (5268 km) and 66 days of exhaustion, sunburn, delirium and piranhas, Martin Strel successfully completed a swim down the Amazon River. Strel?s Amazon swim will be the fourth time Strel has broken the Guinness record.

Martin Strel - Video