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You can’t say that anymore. | Catching up with mostlytrueramblings

Freedom From Religion Foundation billboard

Freedom From Religion Foundation billboard (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You can’t say that anymore.

speak-md (2)

I may not agree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it. – Voltaire

Freedom of Speech, Freedom of ReligionThese are key elements in the American way. This country was founded by people who wanted the right to worship their God and follow their beliefs. “Political Correctness” is taking this right away. What is happening here? Do we have to re-define our rights? It appears that the government knows what our rights are but the people do not.

I suppose we need to amend our rights:

You have the freedom to say anything as long as it isn’t different than someone else’s views on homosexuality, religion, race, abortion, feminism,  or any other key issues.

No, I’ve never seen Duck Dynasty. I don’t care what Phil’s religion tells him. I do however wish Phil the right to speak the truth about his beliefs when asked without fear of losing his job. Isn’t it illegal to fire someone for their religious beliefs?

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via You can’t say that anymore. | mostlytrueramblings.

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Lounge Talk Radio Live TONIGHT! – Catching up with Gretchen Cooper Toni Slate

Great news today for Lounge Talk Radio!  Jia Jiang is the master of the art of rejection with his 100 days of rejection therapy,Ted Talk, speaker at The World Domination Summit and much more….His viral Krispy Kreme video has 5,166,965 views!!! Jia has tweeted to us “I am rooting for your venture to succeed!” and he said YES to making a video shout out promotion for LTR..WHY? Because we were unafraid to ask and possibly be rejected! Thanks for making our day, Jia!

Today, August 17, 11:00 PM EDT

Gretchen Cooper Toni Slate originally shared:
Hang out with Lounge Talk Radio! We invite you to join us for a good time! Chat, shout, request songs and books, have fun!  The celebration begins at 10:00 p.m. on Blog Talk Radio and Twitter then, at 11 p.m. , we’re movin’ the party to Google Hangouts.
Open Song and Video Dedication – Saturday Nights 10-12 pm Central  For details see our website.

via Lounge Talk Radio Live! – Google+.

Nixon’s resignation letter – Boing Boing

[Terry: I know this reminds me of something, but I can’t quite think of what. It’s right on the tip of my brain…]

via Nixon’s resignation letter – Boing Boing.

OH YEAH, NOW I REMEMBER!

MY BOOK “COURIER” IS ABOUT WHY NIXON RESIGNED. CLICK HERE

Catching up with old friends: The World Game

What a beautiful graphic. You’ve got the basic point as soon as you see it and then you can dig down into levels of complexity. I’m sure if we could see the cross-links, it would be an even tighter-woven fabric.

Playing in the World Game

tumblr_mpfs0vHzhg1sq2igro1_1280

 

The above graphic (click on it for a larger version) shows how many brands and products are controlled by just nine food conglomerates. The chains go so deep that unless you have a roadmap, it’s almost impossible to know if a product you’re buying comes from an independent producer or one of the giants. Moreover, a number of these large entities have been in trouble with environmentalists and regulators for various advertising violations, health issues, or environmentally-unfriendly practices. If you’re trying to be a responsible consumer, it becomes a lot harder when there’s so much misdirection.

The good news is, the Internet has so much information available that with patience and diligence, almost any question can be answered. Just don’t trust sources like Ask.com or Yahoo! Answers, which are tantamount to the stupid leading the blind.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

 

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Magic 5-Step Plan To Writing a Post That Will Easily Win Pulitzer Prize : @ProBlogger

The Pulitzer Prize gold medal award 한국어: 퓰리처상 ...

The Pulitzer Prize gold medal award 한국어: 퓰리처상 공공 보도 부문 상인 금메달 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Magic 5-Step Plan To Writing a Post That Will Easily Win Pulitzer Prize

This is a guest contribution by Tim Soulo.

I bet the next sentence will totally blow your mind!

Ready?

Though… I think a bit of preparation wouldn’t hurt. No really, when I told this to my friend the other day he had a heart attack and I had to drive him to the hospital (he’s ok now btw).

But you just have to know that! This is probably the most important piece of advice in your whole career.

So read along…

1. The Power of The Post Opener

Ok. I was bluffing, I’m sorry. I don’t have a “sentence that will blow your mind”. But did you even notice how easily you got involved into reading this post and how intrigued you were to know what’s going to happen next?

If you look at the very first sentence of this post, it’s sole purpose is to make you read the next one. But the next one doesn’t answer the question I’ve planted in your head (“what will blow my mind?”), it just adds more drama to keep you intrigued and make you read even further.

This kind of “post opener” follows the well known AIDA formula: Attention, Interest, Desire, Action.

  • My first sentence got your Attention.
  • The story about a friend that got heart attack got you Interested.
  • The statement “you have to know that” played with your Desire.
  • And I invited you to take Action by offering to “read along”.

But what’s the point of going an extra mile to make your post opener intriguing and catchy? Actually there are quite enough reasons for that:

  • If a person opens your post, this doesn’t mean he will read it. Your post opener helps him to make the decision if he wants to read this post or not;
  • Generally people don’t want to read, they just want to consume some valuable information. If you fail to present it in an entertaining and engaging way someone else might win their attention;
  • We’re easily distracted: an email or tweet or maybe a phone call can easily steal our attention and make us forget about the post we were reading. So your opener should be good enough to make people ignore everything else until they finish it.

A panel from the famous Doonesbury “Stonewall”...

2. Who Needs An Opener When The Headline is Poor?

You have the best opener in the world, but what if noone will ever see it? Why?

Because your headline isn’t good enough!

My RSS reader pretty much illustrates the point:

Tim Soulo's google reader screen of headlines

Same thing with updates on Twitter or Facebook or search listings in Google ­ in every case the headline is what you see first.

Headline is the most important part of your post. Literally. So make sure it’s compelling enough to steal person’s attention.

There are plenty of good tips and techniques to writing powerful headlines, but I think if you master this single document ­ “Headline Hacks” ­ your headlines will rock!

3. Subheadings are Headline’s Best Friends

Subheadings are not only used to improve the structure of your post, but they actually improve the chances of the post to actually get read.

And here’s how.

Many of us (including myself) will always skim through the post quickly in order to determine how big it is, how much time it will take to read it and how valuable it is for us. In case your post is just a since chunk of text and there’s nothing that catches the eye and gives you an idea of what the post is about ­ most people won’t risk their time to read it.

By using interesting and compelling subheadings you’re drastically increasing the chances of your post to be read.

4. Your Post Structure And Styling May Cost You Readers Too

Let’s keep talking about the “phenomenon” of skimming the post before reading it. What else might catch the eye?

  • Pictures? ­Absolutely!
  • Numbered (or unnumbered) lists? ­Definitely!
  • Text in bold or italic? ­Pretty much.
  • Quotations? ­Yeah, why not.

Everything that’s different from the common paragraph of text might get person’s attention and make him quickly read this part. Don’t be afraid to use photos, graphics, videos or anything else along these lines.

Take a look at my post and see which of these things I’ve already used and if they fit naturally and really help you (as a reader) to consume information.

And by the way, make sure your paragraphs of text are not bigger than 3­4 sentences, because most people have have some hidden psychological fear of huge chunks of text and they just won’t read them.

All in all, usage of all these things inevitably leads to improving the logical structure of your post. Subheadings alone mean that the article is not just a random flow of thought, but it’s actually structured into certain logical parts, which makes it a lot easier to comprehend it.

BONUS TIP: Try to always add captions for the images. Studies show that 80% of people who are skimming through the post will read the image captions.

5. All of The Above Is Useless Without Research

We love to think that we have enough knowledge in our heads to produce compelling content which others will find interesting and valuable. Yet quite often we’re awfully wrong.

To prove my point I invite you to google the hell out of the next topic that you’re going to write about and see yourself if there’s anything you didn’t know. And besides, if it so happens that there are tons of posts on the topic already listing the same thoughts and ideas you were about to write… ­ maybe the world doesn’t need yet another one?

But if you’re confident that you can do a much better post than any of those already there ­ go for it, my friend! And make sure you send me the link once it’s published for I want to read that!

One last thing I love about a thorough research ­ it makes your brain work! I don’t remember where I heard this advice first, yet it works for me so damn good:

When you need to generate some fresh ideas or uncanny solutions ­ go read all you can on the topic and then do something else and let your brain rest and slowly digest all the information you’ve just consumed. Sooner or later a great idea will strike you out of nowhere! Believe me, this really works!

The Topic Is Exhausted? Talk To Your Readers!

Don’t know about you, but I write articles with a sole purpose of communicating to people. And I love when the communication goes both ways for otherwise I might as well just bury the article on my hard drive once I’m done writing it.

I’m sure you guys have something to say about this very post. So speak out! I’ll be glad to continue the conversation in comments.

Tim Soulo is a blogging experimenter and conversion junkie. He is passionate about discovering new marketing ideas and sharing them with his readers. Why don’t you visit his personal blog at BloggerJet.com and take his free email course on boosting your traffic.

via Magic 5-Step Plan To Writing a Post That Will Easily Win Pulitzer Prize : @ProBlogger.

Welcome to a new friend: Joseph T. Coltis — Soltis Consulting

Soltis Consulting

Business Concepts, Ideas, and Information

Description
  • We are full service business and computer consultants specializing in assisting the small business target market in developing streamlined business operations using systematic processes and automated system implementation – including business development and planning, organizational process development, software design and development, financial resource management and training.
  • My business, Soltis Consulting, offers business, strategic, and operations consulting and we have over 25 years experience in business management, strategic planning, business development, consultancy, and business analysis.
  • We also publish an online newspaper discussing topics for the small business owner entitled, “Small Business Owner Weekly Review”.
  • Many of these editorials encompass the areas of business operations; strategy; structure; and communications which can assist individuals accordingly.
  • Additionally, I have created multiple community pages in the areas of Business Management, Structure, and Communications; Strategic Planning; Risk Management; and Investment Banking.
==========
Services include:
  • (*) Business Operations, Development and Planning(*) Organizational Process Development(*) Software Design and Development(*) Financial Resource Management and Training(*) Contract Management.

  • We help with overseeing the day-to-day operations of our clients’ businesses as well as the integration of internal components of the business; we focus on the techniques and tools needed to develop new business.

  • Some programs are basic and simply touch on these topics. Others are more intensive and provide in-depth information about lead generation, prospecting, and closing sales; and we also assist our clients is creating and implementing automated accounting structures using software such as Quickbooks Pro, and maintaining this data.

Much More at  The Influential Wisdom and Sustenance of Knowledge Management Part 1 | Soltis Consulting.

Small Business Owner Weekly Review (Week of July 8, 2013)

Good Morning –

A pleasant Monday to each of you – I am hopeful your mornings are coming along well and that you had an enjoyable weekend.

I wish to extend my deepest gratitude and appreciation for all of the engagement and interaction last week – without each of you, this endeavor would not be possible, and on behalf of all of our contributing composers; writers; and fellow business owners, “Thank You”!

As of this morning, our most recent edition of “Small Business Owner Weekly Review” has been published – as always, I would encourage each of you reading this to take a few moments to stop by; review the content at your convenience; and share your thoughts and insights as appropriate.

http://paper.li/f-1358031356

Please do have a very enjoyable week and as always, we kindly thank each of you for your thoughtful considerations – we truly do appreciate your gracious support.

Joe

==========

  • 14 Questions To Ask When Facilitating An Organizational Vision (Suzanne Hawkes)

  • Announcing Big Change (Caring Culture)

  • Brand: They Are Talking. Are You Listening? (Misha T. Williams)

  • Build Your Business The Right Way: 5 Ways to Develop Your Online Presence (The Jones Legal Group, LLC)

  • Business Intelligence Helps Companies Improve Employee Relations (Team Ceridian)

  • Change Management In NGOs (Andrea Santanach – Corporate Social Marketing)

  • Charting Your Big Data Journey (Laurie McCabe – SMB Group)

  • Consistently Delivering The Right Offerings (Mike Clark – Bridging The Gap)

  • Data Speaks, But Do We Understand? (Nicola Manning – QGate Software, Ltd.)

CLICK HERE FOR MUCH MORE

A Few Thoughts Re: Google Quality Content (Part 4) – Insightful and Interesting Article Content

Continuing our commentaries with respect to Google Quality Filters and what questions Google asks to assess the quality of a page or an article; I have been addressing a few questions at a time, providing some insight and explanation as appropriate.

In this post, I will raise some talking points as they related to composing articles that are insightful and interesting.

Another question The Google Quality Filter uses in the analysis of assessing the page/article quality is:

Do our articles/pages contain insightful analysis and/or interesting information beyond the obvious?

What is insightful analysis?  Basically, it is providing a clear, concise explanation

Much more CLICK HERE

[Terry:  Goodness. Our little business in the hands of a professional. A little bit frightening, to tell the truth. Of course, if I read Mr. Coltis, I might actually make some money at this racket.  I’ll have to ponder on that. However, first I’d love to know what led Mr. Coltis to my little corner of the Internet. Hmm?]

Haden To Blog Tour? | Novel Ideas

During a recent webinar, I let slip that I would be working with Michael Haden in the near future. Today, I woke up to a bunch of reader emails asking in what capacity.

Now, I think it’s about time I let you all in on the secret…The secret is… Michael will be touring blogs very soon to promote his book “A Deal With God”.

The tour will kick off on Novel Ideas and move over to several other blogs, including an appearance on the Angie Harris show and culminate with a premiere Google hangout show that will be hosted by yours truly.

I know this comes only a few days after I announced a similar tour with Lloyd Tackitt., but you have to grab the bestsellers when you can.Watch this space. You will be seeing more of the very talented Michael Haden on Novel Ideas.Review:

“A Deal With God – The Power of One is a unique love story inspired by a true story and real events. Author Michael Haden, delivers an entertaining and delightful fictional novel that is full of romance, real-life drama and intrigue. A true testament to the love and grace of God, revealing the power of perseverance and the power of one, this novel exemplifies absolute trust and faith in God.

via Haden To Blog Tour? | Novel Ideas.

Counting Up To Networking | Imagineer-ing

Hey Sweetheart We Get Rewrites

Counting Up To Networking

Posted on 16th June, 2013

Summer? It’s here? Where?It seems that summer is upon us. At least, it is in some places! Personally, I’m not convinced. The weather here certainly doesn’t suggest it. Anyway, judging by the stats, a fair number of people are now able to get out and about in good weather, and maybe even have vacations. There’s definitely been fewer people looking around the blog over the last week or two. Hopefully they’ll wander back when they aren’t off enjoying themselves LOL! In the meantime, while the summer months may not get the same volume of traffic, I’ll maintain posting daily, if possible.

Numbers

Anyway, I was delighted to discover, this morning, that the blog has still managed to reach a total of over 7.000 views since I started it!  The vast majority of those views, more than 6,300 of them, have come since the beginning of 2013.  The blog also has just over 370 direct followers – kind folk who have either clicked on the ‘Follow’ link if they use WordPress.com too, or subscribed by email.  I would like to thank all of you who have done so!  When the Social Networks are added in, that’s a lot of followers or people who at least receive notifications of what’s happening on the blog.  In fact, there are 1280 Twitter and 370+ Facebook followers.  I also have way over 500 LinkedIn connections, 200+ fans and friends on Goodreads, and links with folk on Google+, Pinterest, tumblr, etcetera.  Of course, there’s duplication, but it’s still an awful lot of very good people!

The Same Old Advice?

I have seen a few posts recently extolling the virtues of Social Networks.  It still intrigues me that the message is still being pounded out that Social Networks are not only nice to be a part of, but fundamentally essential to success, despite my own recent findings to the contrary.  Don’t mistake me!  I have no intention of abandoning the Social Network scene!  What concerns me is the forceful claims.  Surely these must impact on those newest to writing and self-publishing?  If that’s true, just how useful, or damaging, is the advice?  Active participation in, for example, Facebook soon leads folk away from the matter in hand into strange lands, where peculiar graphically enhanced (GE rather than GM) quotations – many of dubious authenticity in regard to the alleged sources, humorous photographs of animals and other matter, status messages where folk have hit the panic button having read a piece of ‘news’ proven entirely false some years previously, invitations to participate in (fake) competitions for products that are too good to miss out on owning, invitations to join groups/like pages/play games… well, you get the idea!  So, the one absolute certainty of devoting significant time to Social Networks like Facebook and Twitter is that there’ll be no hope of ‘distraction free’ writing!  Other networks can be approached with a little more confidence, but even they have their dangers, circling like sharks, ready to strike.  For example, Goodreads.  There is, in my honest opinion, nothing to compare with Goodreads!  It is a superb system for readers, authors and reader/authors.  But, there are perils, mostly in the form of the hundreds (maybe thousands) of ‘special interest groups’ and more generalised forums.  Join more than a handful, and you will be pulled and pushed, poked and prodded, to be active in them.  And that’s when the trouble starts – just like Facebook and Twitter: overload!  So the potential damage to the actual writing process is obvious.  What about benefits?  Well, I guess there are some.  When an author’s website or blog is very new, then the Social Networks may bring a few visits from the curious, and I do mean a few!  The evidence simply can’t be disputed.  A more significant benefit is in finding other authors!  But even there, it’s good to be wary.

Mistakes in Social Networking

Believe it or not, many authors who have been using the Social Networks for a significant amount of years are actually abusing the system, deliberately or otherwise.  It may be that they simply haven’t got the message, or they may have ignored or discarded it.  There is, however, a very simple truth that must be given heed to!  It is very bad practice to issue post after endless post advertising your book(s)”!  Don’t believe it?  Then you evidently enjoy being continuously Spammed via email, social network sites, and so forth.  More, you enjoy Spamming others!  Because that’s what it is.  If all you ever post is advertising your work or you, then people will flock to the doors – the exit doors!  Apart from the Spam aspect, it’s just bad manners to do it.  If you blog, then let your blog system post updates about your blog.  Don’t repeat the effort.  Social Networks exist to keep people in touch with each other, in a sense that sees constant advertising as an evil.  If you do the same to people you know in real life, then I pity them, and the chances of you having many real life connections are very low indeed.  No, you have to work at it properly!  You have to provide interesting, humorous, sometimes informative information, with only the occasional advertisement for your work, almost as an aside.  This is true at all levels – from blog to network.  Anything else, and the only visitors you’ll have in any numbers will be Spambots and worse – and many of those won’t bother with you, either, because your statistics are so shockingly low.  Everything is open to abuse, intended or misguided.  If you’re determined to use the available facilities, learn to look beyond yourself, beyond your work.  If you’re not inclined to provide ‘informative’ posts, at least try to amuse your readers!  It’s like any social situation.  You have to ‘court’ your audience, even if you don’t appear to have one.  If you get it right, people will find you!  More, if you truly engage in a friendly manner with both readers and fellow authors, others will support your efforts – not just in direct responses but by Tweeting, posting to Facebook, and numerous other ways.  But I’ll sound another note of caution here: if you set out to use others, they will find you out!  In other words, just be a real, ordinary, sociable person – willing to help others not because you want something in return, but simply because

The best advice I have to give?  Be ‘good people’.

~ Steve

via Counting Up To Networking | Imagineer-ing.

[Terry: A friend emailed me, looking for a fast way to build his “online presence.” I gave him the same advice.]

Terry Irving: Full Circle – YouTube

Terry Irving: Full Circle – YouTube.

Why would anyone want to watch me on Video?

Welcome to a new friend: Kedadelaide: Free Little Words

Free Little Words

via About | Free Little Words.

keladelaide

Mum to two, wife, teacher, sister, daughter, aunty and a few others in between. Intending to blog every day for a year.

So I have this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to tell you about this blog (and the person behind the keyboard) in as few words as possible so you actually get to the good stuff after this little intro without tuning out. Well here goes and I’ll try and keep it as succinct as possible.

An example from 1949.

Friends, family and a few foes call me Kel (Mum, Mrs H and darl also rate high up there).

Humour will feature on a regular basis as I try to look on the lighter side of love and occasionally I post something worthy of discussion or debate. I am a writer-in-the-making who is, more than likely, not going to hear back from the publisher once I’ve actually sent the manuscript (they don’t even send rejection letters anymore)! When I am forced into a 18×18 foot room filled with 30 bodies I am a teacher but please don’t ask me to answer any Science questions!  My love for my two boys (currently aged 5 and 3) will feature regularly but you’ll also find a smattering of poorly written poetry.

Greeting card with horses on

Free Little Words is about love in all its different forms. I don’t dwell or rant. Maudlin and I do not see eye to eye. I prefer positive and to find the silver lining in any given circumstance.

The name of my blog came to be from those three little words we all wish to hear whether it be from a parent, child, lover or partner. ’Free’ was substituted for ‘three’ because they don’t cost anything to say and my little guy, then 2, could not say three properly-it came out as free.

I hope that you gain something from reading a post or two. Maybe you’ll have smiled, laughed or even shared your thoughts. Whatever brings you here, please take an ‘I Love You’ with you and give it to your child/ren.

Until tomorrow,
Kelly.

A Certain Type of Love

Love of different types.

What is it about some kids that makes them more able to outwardly express their love while others are just not the cuddly type? Is there any genetic factors at play? When the environment is the same for both how can it play out so differently for each?

heart-icons-2

If they were referred to as type A and type B; I have one of each.

Type A: fiercely independent yet anxious when facing new situations, high-strung, intelligent, realistic and happy just to ‘be’ with the ones he loves.

Type B: caring, kind and generous soul, ‘shadows’ trusted adults, smart, physically displays affection often and easy going.

While the youngest has grown up in a love-rich environment, the same as which his older brother was brought home to, Just 3 has taught his older brother a thing or two. Being a naturally loving soul has increased that loving feeling exponentially in our home.

English: me and my friend

I know my child feels love. Is it possible to teach someone how to express love?

I believe that my youngest has done just that.

A desire to be equal may be the motivation for Now 6′s acts of affection. He has learned to show the closeness of the bond of love.

When I speak of love and affection with others it leaves me pondering.

For some families, love is expressed daily. On the phone, ‘love you’ ends every call. Text messages contain love or, at the very least, a heart. Love is sent across the miles in greeting cards. While for others, love is reserved and sometimes not returned. It’s felt but not spoken. A hug might convey it but is that the same?

According to Mum who is the Google of my family history, I was never a touchy-feely child. It wasn’t imposed upon me or expected. I was told I was loved but showed little desire to express the same emotions in return. It has taken me having my own children to realise how important it is for the life of my kids. Now 6 may just be a carbon copy of me but his brother, Dad and I will provide all the chances to show love that he needs.

For a life without love is no life at all.

Image from: here.

Love That Cheeky Monkey

20130512_101021Monkey love see; monkey love do.

Sometimes it’s naked and running free. At other times it’s shadowing me.

Wipe, powdered and soft as a baby’s; the fat rolls and wrinkles perfect in every way.

Naked from the waist down; jiggling as he runs with jocks upon his head and socks worn as mittens.

Bending over to look for a lizard that just made a dash; plumber’s crack facing up to the sky.

Making music in the bath; bum trumpet tune makes him cackle.

Built-in padding for accidents; falling flat on his arse stops him briefly.

Watch it wiggle and jiggle; dancing to the beat.

Nudie run to the shower; if I catch it, I’ll tickle it.

I’ve powdered, kissed, washed, tickled, dressed, wiped and watched that bum.

I’ve fussed over, worried, laughed and shaken my head at those little cheeks.

It may be responsible for a number of functions, some of which are the anti of cute.

But I made that bum.

 

No butts about it – love my little monkey.

Welcome to a new friend: Ann Marie Woolsey-Johnson — maternity peeve

From the gal who brought you The Filmonista, comes the heart-wrenching tale of an MFA, a baby and an unemployment check.

Ann Marie Woolsey-Johnson was once a designer, writer, teacher, gardener, and film critic.

In the early 2000s, she was a popular Vegas lounge singer.

Actually, that’s a lie… but, she is an above adequate piano player.

She’s now a stay-at-home mom, insomniac, crazy idiot neighbor, B vitamin junkie and chronic Facebook status updater.

And that’s okay with her.

Check out her once prestigious film blog:

http://filmonista.wordpress.com/

via About | maternity peeve.

Every time I try to be June Cleaver, I end up like Joan Crawford.

June supervises the boys and their friends, To...

Birthdays really bring out the worst in me. It happens to be one of the few occasions during the year I actually look forward to. So much so, my unbridled enthusiasm ends up crushing my plans; and in some of the worst ways possible.

Today is my daughter’s 2nd birthday. Here’s a quick recap of how my celebratory endeavors turned ugly. Fast.

June Cleaver was my muse as I began the day by dressing my daughter up in some frilly pink clothing. (Truly out of character; I never dress her in pink clothing.) (Red flag #1.)

Mommie Dearest (film)

Dropping my daughter off at her school, I’m eager to get back to my kitchen to bake some cupcakes.

I never bake. (Red flag #2.)

Back in my kitchen, I’m zen as I assemble and combine my ingredients.

I’m never zen. And certainly NEVER in the kitchen. (Red Flag #3.)

I start to whistle. (Perhaps the biggest Red Flag of them all?)

I place my cupcakes in the oven to bake, and I wait. In what resembles a 1950s housewife type of Valium induced fog, I find myself in the bathroom actually trimming my cuticles with a cuticle remover.

I own such a tool? (Red Flag #4.)

English: Fairy cakes in an oven, taken from front.

English: Fairy cakes in an oven, taken from front. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Several minutes later (about 20 to be precise), I begin to smell baking soda and burning. Exit fog. Panicked; I begin thinking about how dirty my oven is, and my mind goes berserk. Have I cleaned it lately? If so, with what? Toxic chemicals? Did I use the self-cleaning option? Does that even WORK??

I feel my blood pressure spike; I have to bring these cupcakes to my daughter’s nursery school for a party in 45 minutes!

Borderline bonkers, I conduct a Google search on the heat of ovens and how they can vary from one to the next. I read that my oven is probably “normal” hot. Sigh. Thank you, Google. You are my church.

I breathe and then spot some sugar and flour on the counter near my blender; I missed a spot? I run to the cabinet and grab my trusty Method spray and take care of it, post haste!

The burning smell returns, this time accompanied by smoke and my detector’s alarm. I open the oven and see that the once happy, rising tops of my cupcakes have now fallen flat, hard and blackish. Oh, and I have about 3 minutes to cool and frost them.

I run into the bathroom again, flash blow dry my hair into a mangled frizz bomb, and sprint back into the kitchen; helpless but bound and determined to salvage at least five cupcakes

Note: This is where a rational woman would stop and admit defeat, head to the store and pick up an alternative. HA! Not this delusional momma.

My daughter and her friends will have cupcakes; even if they are burned, damnit…  and they’ll like them!

English: A Small tupperware container.

I place everything in Tupperware, and I’m off!

Just as I aggressively pull the door shut, I spot my keys on the table (about 8 feet away from me). SLAM. Locked out.

It’s pouring rain.

As good luck in bad situations would have it; I spot an umbrella on my porch. I grab it with force and anger; my mind quickly fleets to the image of Mommie Dearest grabbing a handful of her daughter’s hair as she screams; “SCRUB, Christina… SCRUUUHB!”

I begin speed walking to my daughter’s school, zig-zagging around puddles like a mime (I neglected to mention, I’m wearing the thinnest sandals I own), trying not to drop two awkwardly balanced Tupperware containers full of charred cupcakes. Smiling at passing cars, crying, and then, eventually laughing myself back into that lovely fog.

 

 

“When are you guys having the next one?”

And like clockwork…sign it happened.

20 mos post-first born, in fact, just as all my friends said it would. The first time I heard it, I was completely caught off guard. In my kitchen (my home, my comfort zone), I was approached from the rear by a friend of the family.

“So…”

The sound of that lone syllable echoing in my head was enough to keep me turned around at the sink; chin tucked into my neck just enough to show I was listening, but intent on getting the dishes clean.

I knew what was coming; we just had an enjoyable dinner complete with all the “oohs” and “ahhhs” that accompany a family gathering where a toddler is the highlight of the evening.

“When are you guys having the next one?”

There are so many things wrong with this statement, beginning with the presumptive “when?”.

How about the word; “next”? I mean, just how many are we talking about here? Four? Five? Furthermore, when does this “when?” end?

My answer; one that’s been rehearsed over and over since even before my first (and ONLY) child was a concept:

“Oh no, just one for us. One is more than enough.” Big fake smile.

<Small, very real rage>.

Why so angry? I thought you’d never ask! Please, let me list these reasons in bullet points for you– in fact, why don’t I choose asterisks instead? Asterisks are ornamental… friendly and less likely to be used by someone on a war path to prove a point, right?

* My husband and I are not breeders.  True, we’ve got some killer genes to pass on, but unless you’d like to talk about a surrogate offer, we will stand behind our word, thank you very much.

* We enjoy our nightly couch time.

* I like having time to blow dry my hair. It’s a priority. Sue me.

* Believe it or not, we actually WANT to spoil our child.

* We’re not a baby factory for our parents. We get it; our folks want grand kids. But guess what?  They have other children they can harass.

* We do not care to make our friends who have multiples feel better about their situation by having several of our own. We love you, but it’s your problem you have no time to: shower for more than 3 minutes, eat dinner in peace without being the target of an Ella’s Kitchen Squash Broccoli puree boomerang, and catch-up on Mad Men. I cry for you, really… I do.

If you approach me with this question, be prepared for my canned response. But please know, I will be more than happy to show you to the door if you press me for more information. And if you ask me in public, there’s a good chance I might throw a scalding hot cup of coffee directly at your face and run screaming “I need an adult!!”

Master the Mystery Hole | The Accidental Cootchie Mama

Master the Mystery Hole

by Andra Watkins on May 24, 2013

There’s something about the Mystery Hole. I just couldn’t put my finger on it.

Master the Mystery Hole

There’s something about the Mystery Hole. I just couldn’t put my finger on it.

20130524-121127.jpg

My Internet is likely to be spotty to non-existent until Tuesday. Please be patient as I try to get to your stories.

In the meantime, I found the Mystery Hole. I have two t-shirts to give to worthy readers to prove it. Comment to be eligible to win.

20130524-121515.jpg

via Master the Mystery Hole | The Accidental Cootchie Mama.

Welcome to a new friend: Ain Riz – A Page From My Diary – Conversation with God |

A Page From My Diary

A Pakistani New York Based Blogger with Random thoughts,

observations and opinion about people, things, surroundings and events. It takes a split of second for inspiration to strike

Ain Riz

I may not always be perfect, but I am always ME.

via Conversation with God | A Page From My Diary.

Conversation with God

Dear God,

Recently I have become very afraid of how I will face you should I die instantly. I guess this thought has kept me obsessed after my Dad’s death and the recent calamities and violence in my not-so-holy motherland, Pakistan.

Life is never certain. Death is a reality that has to be faced by everyone one day or the other, but judging the current political and social anarchy in Pakistan, I have come to realize that the value of human life in my country is diminishing day by day. When on international media, there are news of new medical breakthroughs, robots digging the soil of Mars, the name of Pakistan is only associated with Talibans, murders, political instability and voilence.

I wonder why do we call non-muslims infidels when more than 60% of their practices are exactly in accordance with the teachings of Islam. They don’t lie, cheat, being dishonest and unjust, human life is valued above everything and all sort of security is provided to everyone despite the consideration of race, religion, sex and ethinicity. I dont look over the fact that there are black sheeps in every society, but if we talk about the civilization as a whole I am more than willing to give West nine out of ten for the strong social and political system they have adopted.

Ok there is another feather in the hat of Pakistan, it’s has got itself a new nick name ‘Pornistan’. I also laughed when I first read Google’s report, but now I think it is a seriously embarassing situation faced an ordinary Pakistani like me. The number stated in the report is very high and it is a stigma to our religious beliefs and cultural values. I dont agree that since religion puts restriction on sexual behavior, orders us to follow limits when it comes to the relationship between a man and a women, so it is the frustration and psychologocal tension (mostly in the male species) that lead people to satisfy their urges by indulging in porn, cyber sex and other such hideous practices. I believe that being Muslim, we are required to curb our id and stay away from illicit pleasures, nevertheless enjoying them the way religion has taught us, the best form of which is the institution of marriage.

So God analyzing the above situation, I think that You’ve a right to loose your wrath upon us as we have done all to deservethese hardships that’ve been broken loose upon us during the last couple of years. I can only pray to you to forgive me for my sins and guide me to the right path, not to the path of those who are astrayed.

Amen

© Ain Riz

Something about technology

Dear Diary,

Suddenly I have become so busy that I have lost a precious commodity called time. Should I blame it to the hectic work schedule or my addiction to internet, movies and DVDs? Is technology really having an adverse impact on human relationships like facebook, which incorporates all of my family and friends and now define my relationship with everyone.

Gone are the days when we used to chat over phone or IM each other, now there are walls and statuses to let us know what’s going on in our lives. Constant status updates and tweets are enough to let the other person know that we are alive and kicking. This one page called ‘profile’ has all the information we choose to reveal to the virtual world of friends. I once read in an article that social networking has altered the very course of how we interact with each other. You can choose to limit the access you want to give to your friends and even among friends we have made groups like Family, close friends and some we choose to put in limited profile.

Should mom, dad, uncles, aunts and in-laws be on your facebook? I don’t understand why people living under the same roof wants to be in eachother’s friendlist in the cyber space too? Isn’t it the invasion of privacy? For me Facebook is the only place, where I can be myself. I can write bitchy status if my mood is running low, I can sing on facebook, I can make fun of my best friend and I can do whatever I like and whatever I can’t do in the real world, on facebook. Do I need approval to be myself even in the cyberspace? Ah, I don’t think so! I have seen relationships getting sour just because of Facebook statuses and wall posts. Every relationship has its own boundaries and requires a certain level and way of interaction. With parents you show respect, with siblings you fight and then be together again, with friends you bitch about life and gossip, with your crush you try to pose your best possible side, therefore putting all these significant others under one list and on the same ‘home page’ could jeopardise your future and your life outside the realm of internet.

Pakistani women are supposed to be repressive and the term ‘bold’  has less tolerance level in our part of the world. We expect women, specially the single ones to behave in a certain manner according to the boundaries and patterns defined by our social structure, which has is not as perilous to us (the women) as it appears to our counterparts in rest of the world. Hence if we go a little out of our way, the grapevine spreads very fast and we are labelled as ‘fast’ and ‘deviants’, ‘the untouchables’ who would probably not be good prospects for marriage. We become intimidating to men and their families if we reveal our dreams, our perspectives and our intake on life. Rumor has it that professional women face most problems in Pakistani society, but that is not always the case. There are many families out there who want a working girl for their sons and brothers, but they expect her not to have decision making power, which may seem a bit contrary to the fact that the girl is working and independent.

The other de-merit of technology is its unlimited access to the young minds behind the disguise of educational necessaity. In Pakistan, the cheapest thing available are the cellular phone packages that subtly promotes a culture where time should be spent talking for hours on phone rather than doing constructive things. We have all day and all night free packages that are as low as 35 paisas. Cellphones, cable and now internet have become indespensible and parents usually allow kids to have these luxuries of the past without realising that the early access to technology is the main reasosn behind the decedance of our youth and is the sole culprit to corrupt the innocent minds. Either you should have sex education given to the kids from the start or you should impose a strict ban on the use of any medium of technology, but sex is a taboo in our society. Sex is something we choose to remain silent even when we reach puberty or tie the knot. The lack of knowledge about safe sex and sex ethics according to Islam has never been heard of in the families of mediocre Pakistan. I think no knowledge about this important issue may lead many of us towards haram practices and we commit sins due to our ignorance on one of the most important issues of life.

Human mind is a wast arena and a canvas during the early stages of development, which can be painted as liked. It is the most flexible thing God has ever created. You can make or break the personality of a young mind. Technology has ease our life and is a blessing, but like everyother thing it has its demerits attached with it, which can’t be overlooked. A strict parental or adult supevision and a friendly bond with your child or young family members should be fostered in order to protect your generations from the clutches of vulgarity and moral degeneration. Not only this is adviced because of the successful life that all of us dream of leading, but being a muslim, one day we all have to be accountable to Allah for our deeds and it is my firm belief that on the day of judgement, none of us would like to get emabarassed infront of our Creator just because we couldn’t control urges or neglected our kids and wasn’t able to give the manly talk to them due to social taboos.

Welcome to a new friend: nejatk2

Heidegger‘s Critique of Modern Technology: On “The Question Concerning Technology

13 Monday May 2013

Click to visit the original post

Reblogged from Be Late.:

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“Technology” in practices of development is often understood in terms of a means-end schema toward modernization. More, technology becomes the conceptual frame to signify progress and modernity. Indeed, technological products — from manufactured tools, electronics, bridges to skyscrapers — become so many objects signifying change, of what is new and what is modern. What follows is a critical reconstruction and summary of Heidegger’s essay, “The Question Concerning Technology” (1954).

Read more… 3,151 more words

via nejatk2 | This WordPress.com site is the cat’s pajamas.


Welcome to a new friend: Talent Flush

About Us

TF

An initiative to bring together ‘Talent’ & ‘Creativity’ from every nook and corner of earth.

Talent Flush is an initiative to make this earth more human, more festive. Our aim is to bring the best out of the individuals and let them share it with all. Talent Flush is a platform where everyone irrespective of age, race, color, nation, social status, etc. can show his / her talent and creativity to the entire world. We welcome all and every category of talent.

Talent Flush believes that every human being is born with a certain talent, with a certain creative urge to express his innermost thoughts; every human has arrived on this earth with a certain message.

Our main target is to bring out the best in people and give them a stage to show it to the entire world via http://www.talentflush.com and live events hosted by Talentflush Creations Private Limited across the globe. This will not only raise the happiness quotient of individuals but will also improve the quality of life on earth. Through creativity we wish to fill the HEARTS with optimism and positivity. Our aim is to instill hopes and confidence in the lives of creative people seeking an anchor/hand to hold on. We wish to give them sunshine.

Talent Flush is a platform where your talent can find expression. We believe that if you’re good at something, you deserve an audience. And it doesn’t really matter what you’re into – writing, painting, singing, dancing, photography, music, or even street magic for that matter. If you posses a talent, well make sure the world sees it. In case you’re wondering how, Talent Flush shares every post here on word press blog, Facebook Page, Google+ Page, Linked In group, Twitter and organizes events across the globe to give our creative folk with a stage and help them reach out to people. So feel free to flush in, to share your passion. And we shall do what were here to do – Spread it all over.

‘Creativity’ ‘Intelligence’ ‘Celebration’ – Spread All Over

via About Us | Talent Flush.

Artist: Ms. Lucy Michiels || Title: “Shy Angel” || Category:

Painting || Talent Flush Spread All Over

Artist: Ms. Lucy Michiels

Title: “Shy Angel”

Category: Painting

Talent Flush
Spread All Over

Find it on Amazonsweetheart rewrite COMBINE

How to Get Your First 1,000 Email Subscribers When Nobody Knows You : @ProBlogger

 

Watching and Blogging

Watching and Blogging (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is a guest contribution by Marya Jan, blogging coach from Writing Happiness.

What’s the biggest excuse you hear from people who are not getting the results they want from their blogging?

“I don’t know anyone online.”

Not ‘my content might not be good’. Not ‘I don’t a clear idea of what I am doing’. Not ‘I know it takes time and I am learning everything I can’.

None of that. It’s always because they don’t have any connections with the big shots.

Allow me to put up my hand and say this … I have over 1,000 subscribers (multiple times over actually) and I have done this under 18 months of blogging AND without having connections with any famous people.

via How to Get Your First 1,000 Email Subscribers When Nobody Knows You : @ProBlogger.

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