Tag Archives: musings

The Lost Art of Whistling

The organic use of communication called the whistle has been around for a while. The original tweet probably was expressed by a caveman. He may have accidentally whistled while dashing home for supper. Later, it alerted his clan to imminent danger, meaning, “Dude! Look out for those crazed and hungry mastodons behind you!” Dinosaurs are extinct and the whistle is increasing in rarity.

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When I was a kid, I heard a whistle nearly every day.

My dad loved to imitate birds, even warblers. After hearing one summon a mate from a faraway tree, he would whistle to it for kicks and giggles. It would fly closer and closer. This nasty trick worked best on cardinals. Imagine their disappointment when the poor bird discovered it was only stupid human producing the intoxicating siren call and not a voluptuous feathered friend. Continue reading

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A bad cold is just like this…

We’re all in denial when experiencing the first sneeze. We’re still feeling great.

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We go about our day and brush off that first little tickle in our throats.

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Then we notice something just isn’t right.

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Drinking coffee doesn’t snap us out of it. Continue reading

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Are You Ready “to” Spring?

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The bad news:

This Sunday, March 9th, marks the beginning of Daylight Saving Time or what I like to call, “You Ripped Off an Hour of My Precious Sleeping Time.” We lose an hour at 2:00 AM when time springs ahead to 3:00 AM. Dawn will break an hour later and the sun won’t slide behind our mountains until 7:02 PM. It will be one of those groggy days which will oddly resemble jet lag. It will creep into Monday morning with an increase in traffic accidents and heart attacks.

I love when it ends in November and I have a whole extra hour to play, but the start-up is killer. I can’t believe one little hour can mess with our heads so much.

I wonder if anyone has ever screwed with time in order to win a war. I can imagine the enemy sneaking into camp and setting all the clocks ahead by one hour. Just think of the mayhem, friendly fire, and subsequent heart attacks.

Did you know that Ben Franklin is responsible for our abrupt and jarring time change? In 1784, he spent some time in Paris and came up with an idea to save on the cost of candles. It’s always about money and sometimes about the cost of wax.

The good news:

Here in Boulder, day lengthens by 2 minutes and 37-38 seconds every 24 hours. For all of you still in the eye of the Polar Vortex, spring will arrive on Thursday, March 20th, whether Weather likes it or not. The 4th of July is less than four months away. How can that be? Time is precise and controlled. It ticks on and on, with concise rhythm and constant meter. Weather is obstinate and unpredictable. It throws tantrums without warning. It has its way, always. It doesn’t care about Time or the season. It’s an emotional monster, a willful child, and a hormonal teenager.

On Sunday morning, when you set your clocks ahead, you’ll be one hour closer to spring. The days will lengthen, temperatures will rise, and snow will melt.

But don’t mention anything to Weather. We don’t want it to become a hot mess.

Are you for or against Daylight Saving Time?

Photo courtesy of Free Wallpaper

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Favorite Photo Friday – Dancing in Paris

Dancing in Paris

While on a bike tour, we wound through the streets of Paris to the Louvre.  The City of Lights compelled us to stop and absorb the magic of the moment. The discord of modern and traditional architecture momentarily blended with the timelessness of dance.

Where would you like to travel in 2014?  

Click on photo to enlarge.

If you haven’t stopped by my blog party, it’ s not too late to Use Me and Abuse Me!

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We’ll Be Waiting for You…

Why do I love Halloween? As an artist, this holiday serves as a canvas for my creative imagination. Shakespeare said, “All the world’s a stage.” My stage is a little creepier than most.

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This year’s setting evokes a dark theme. With bold strokes, my home has transformed into a haunted castle where vampires lurk and bats swoop down in hoards at unsuspecting guests. The bats have multiplied since last year. Continue reading

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A Mystery Revealed

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The Cascada Fountain in the Parc de la Ciutadella, Gaudi’s Parc Guell, and the Sagrada Familia 

My husband Danny, daughter Courtney and I survived the Wild European Ride! 3 countries in 17 days. Whew…

Courtney took her final exams in two business classes the day we arrived, then she toured us all over the Barcelona, Spain. I have never been to a place where one artist has made such an impact. Gaudi’s art was everywhere!

This was the first post of the Where in the World Contest. The winner of this leg went to the most specific answer. Jeremy de Laroche used Wikipedia to find the exact location  of the Park Guell and the Sagrada Familia. Way to go Jeremy! Continue reading

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The Boob Report – A Sticky Situation

I bet the photograph of me with the tubes coming out of my body is forever etched in your memory. Sorry about that. I had hoped to get the drains out on Friday, but I had to go into the doctor three more times before they were removed a full week later. It was hard for me to slow down. Imagine!

Talk about shivering before an appointment. I was so afraid yanking the tubes out would hurt like hell since they were so sensitive early in my recovery. They slipped right out and I didn’t feel a thing!

Looking forward to a shower took on a whole new meaning. With no belt, tubes or hand grenade containers to mess with, I was finally free and ready to jump in to really suds up. Then I realized another problem had arisen.

1942 Girl Scout First Aid Kit

Girl Scout First Aid Kit from 1942 – I don’t think Danny broke into this antique.

We had run out of bandages and my husband Danny had placed four old and deteriorating ones over my entry tube holes the night before. They left nasty glue everywhere. Gahhhhhh! I had looked forward to the relief of being drain-free, but now my arms stuck to my sides under my armpits. When I say stuck, I mean my skin stuck together like fly paper!

I took a shower, but nothing would remove the sticky glue.

ME: Oh my God! I can’t believe it! How am I going to get rid of this stupid glue? I waited all this time for some relief and now I have to deal with this shit!

DANNY: What about turpentine?

ME: Are you kidding me? The holes in my body from the tubes are right in the middle of the sticky mess. I can’t put turpentine on my wounds!

Tears welled up in my eyes. 

DANNY: What about fingernail polish remover?

ME: God Danny. Are you serious?

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Or did he???

It was quiet for a while as I moved my arm up and down and watched the skin stick together and then pull apart.

DANNY: What about a Stayfree Mini Pad?

ME: A Stayfree Mini Pad?

After I stopped laughing, I thought about it.

ME: I guess it’s worth a try.

I grabbed a pad from under the sink and folded it in half. Then I stuck it under my armpit.

DANNY: Well? Is it working?

I put my arm down at my side and lifted it up. The skin didn’t adhere!

ME: It worked! A Stayfree Mini Pad? How did you think of that brand?”

DANNY: Their advertising must be working.

Who knew I would be freed by a mini pad?

I HAVE NEW BOOBS.

They’re nipple-less and bionic. I love them! I can throw on a tank top and run (Okay, so I can’t run yet), outside without a bra and I won’t nip out.

There have been four fills so far. I told my reconstructive doctor, “You should post a sign in the waiting room that says, We will pump you up!

I would name my new boobs, Hans and Franz, but come on, they’re girls.

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The Fill = Youch!

First the nurse uses a magnet to find the half-dollar size fill area under the skin of my breast and pectoral muscles. I wonder if they will set off alarms while going through airport security… Then she inserts a needle and “pumps me up,” with saline. 50 cc’s hurts like hell, but no pain, no gain. My boobs are stretching out to their original size and my dinky right boob is no longer dinky!

They are not like the soft silicone implants which will replace the expanders in September. These freaks are like headlights, halogen high beams, or Barbie boobs. They stick straight out and are as hard as rock. I smacked one while pulling the clean clothes out of the washer today. Ho! It smarted!

“My new girls could take a bullet for me,” I said to my mom.

My poor mother has never gotten used to my crazy sense of humor.

DUAL PURPOSE

I wondered if Danny could use my new boobs as a flotation device in the untimely event that our plane plunges into the Atlantic while traveling to Europe.

“I could save two people,” I told the nurse while she filled them up.

“They would be easy to grip,” Danny added.

“No. They are filled with saline so you won’t float,” said the straight-faced nurse.

Dang.

NOTE TO SELF:

If I am ever high on the general anesthetic and Oxycontin again, try to remember the drug will obliterate my filters for a whole month. I over-shared my boobectomy with the landscape guys who stopped by to give me an estimate. I told them since I no longer have nipples, I can run around bra-less. “How cool is that?” I asked.

Then I proceeded to tell them my WHOLE double mastectomy story, for FIFTEEN MINUTES.

Next time, pay attention to the color of people’s faces, if their jaws drop and if they start to back away towards their vehicle.

Hey! At least I didn’t flash them…

Can you think out of the box?

Other Boob Reports – 

The Boob Report I – Roadblocks and U-Turns

The Boob Report II – Laughter is the Best Medicine

The Boob Report III – Post-op

The Boob Report IV – Coming Out of the Haze

The Boob Report V – Bosom Boosting Buddies

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An Open Letter to Prince Harry

Dear Prince Harry,

It has come to my attention that you will be visiting our fair state this weekend. As your motorcade drives to Colorado Springs from DIA, I am sure you will be struck by the impressive beauty of the Front Range and the Rocky Mountains.

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You will be attending the 2013 Warrior Games. According to the Colorado Springs Gazette, “The teams compete in seven sports – archery, cycling, shooting, sitting volleyball, swimming, track and field, and wheelchair basketball. The event is designed to help the recovery of the 260 wounded, ill, and injured servicemen and women participating.” You will be a spectator at the Olympic Training Center for a volleyball exhibition on Saturday and a cycling competition at Falcon Stadium on Sunday.

These are all well worth your time and yet a thought occurred to me. After traveling thousands of miles across the world for these wonderful events, why not sneak out of the Springs on Saturday night to stop by one of the jewels of Colorado?

The Boulder Flatirons

Boulder is by far one of the must-see attractions of our state. It boasts the University of Colorado’s red-tiled roofed campus complete with the Flatirons rock formation in the backdrop. Our college co-eds are the most attractive in the country. No, I am not biased because my daughter attends the University.

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It is within walking distance of many hiking trails. I am sure after being cramped on an airplane for so many hours your secret service would appreciate stretching their legs while taking in the fresh mountain air and views of the Boulder Valley.

It is home to Pearl Street, an outdoor mall filled with eclectic people, shops, buskers and musicians.  After your hike and shopping you could relax in one of Boulder’s popular micro-breweries.  I think they may give England a run for their money, but hey, you can prove me wrong.

Pearl Street Mall

You have probably heard that marijuana use has recently been decriminalized. Although lawmakers are still working out the details, you won’t get arrested for inhaling while you are visiting.

Boulder is considered a foodie town which means it is home to many amazing restaurants, some of which are the finest in the country.

There is a wide range of choices for nightlife including DJ’d nightclubs, roof top bars and places to enjoy local bands.

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Before returning to Colorado Springs, I would recommend stopping by one of our specialty cupcake bakeries open late in case you get the munchies.

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You will be glad you came to Boulder. If you get into any trouble for upsetting the royal itinerary, I would be happy to take full responsibility.

Unfortunately, my unmarried daughter is out of town this weekend. I don’t suppose you would consider extending your stay through Monday.

Sincerely yours,

Susie Lindau

Prince Harry’s photo from Wikimedia commons

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The Bright Side Top Ten List

Most of you come to the Wild Ride for an upbeat quirky post and I don’t think I have let you down yet. This is Boulder, Colorado’s eighth, yes, 8TH week of snow in a row. Talk about quirky!

My husband, Danny, and I enjoyed summer-like weather last weekend. We spent Saturday afternoon and evening on Pearl Street taking in all the sights and sounds of spring in gorgeous 75 degree weather. I walked barefoot on Sunday. I should have known it was temporary.

Pearl Street Mall

Our never-ending winter cycle continued when another six inches dumped from the sky. Instead of a traditional Maypole dancing kind of day, we got a picture postcard of Christmas in May.

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Being a hopeless optimist, here are my

Top Ten Reasons Why I am Still Welcoming the Snow:

#1 – West Nile has not been reported in our state.

#2 – The ants I slaughtered last year at this time, are still deep down in their little ant apartments where they belong.

#3 – After realizing I am allergic to yellow jackets, I am happy to report not one buzzed around in the snow today. My traps are locked and loaded.

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#4 – I can’t mow the lawn, weed, trim hedges, or deadhead (dang!), so I have more time to write.

#5 – With all of this amazing moisture, we won’t have to start the sprinkler system for at least a couple of days. Our bill may stay in the two digit range this month.

#6 – No wildfires have been reported in our state for the month of May.

#7 – Prolonging my hibernation means wearing cozy Smart Wool socks and eating fresh bread and homemade soup. My Dumb Ass cotton socks will have to wait a few more days.

#8 –  This crazy weather gives me lots of fodder for social media posts.

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#9 – I have another chance to make a snow angel with Roxy.

#10 – I will appreciate spring so much more when it finally arrives, even if I have to wait until July.

Are you an optimist, a pessimist, or a realist?

Related posts:

April 2011,2012 and 2013 – A Photo Essay

April! April! Where for Art Thou?

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Treasure from 1893 Speaks Volumes about Publishing 120 Years Later

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Many years ago while visiting Wisconsin, I drove to a rural farm sale outside a small town. It was my last stop after several garage sales. Price tags hung from farming equipment along with assorted household items and antiques. It drew a crowd of curious neighbors as well as treasure hunters. I fell into the latter category.

Drawn to the tables laden with books, I found ancient leather-bound volumes and others in cloth. I sauntered along the stacks of old family Bibles and velvet photo albums. While leafing through Ladies’ World and The Ladies’ Home Journal magazines from the 1800’s, one raindrop plopped down on my head followed by another. I grabbed a box.

After filling it with as many old books and magazines as I could carry, I paid the lady $5.00, and staggered to the car just before the sky opened up and it poured.

I took the magazines home and glanced at the fine drawings and paintings. As an illustrator, I really appreciated the attention to detail. No photographs were included in these early issues. I was amused at the old advertisements, but nothing grabbed my interest, so I put them away and forgot about them.

Today, I read The Ladies’ Home Journal from 1893 with a different perspective. Now that I am a writer, several ideas jumped off the 120 year-old pages.

Long fictional stories and excerpts of books were included in each of the three issues I purchased. All were beautifully illustrated and captioned. Back in the 1800’s, reading was a very popular form of entertainment.

What really smacked me upside the head were the advertisements for one year subscriptions.

Inside the cover of The Ladies’ Home Journal was an advertisement for Mark Twain’s, The Century, FREE to anyone who subscribed to the magazine. This was a leather-bound edition! I believe Twain’s idea to advertise his book by giving it away, reached a wider audience. This compilation of short stories was perfect for the type of reader catered to by the Journal.

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At the time of this periodical’s publication, many authors feared short stories and magazines would take over the publishing industry. This point is often made to compare the same fear many have about ebooks replacing real books. It didn’t happen then and many believe it won’t happen now.

The first article by Frank R. Stockton, explains how he garnered a huge audience by frustrating them. In a beautifully illustrated essay, “How I wrote ‘The Lady or the Tiger?’” he defends the history of his controversial short story.  It caused quite a “hoopla” or “hullabaloo” back in the day.

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Stockton was invited to a dinner party along with several other literary guests. As part of the evening’s entertainment, he was asked to prepare a story. When he didn’t finish it in time, he demurred. Later, he completed this ultimate cliff-hanger about a young man who falls in love with a princess who becomes his lover. They end up in an arena which has two portals. A tiger paces behind one of them. The princess tells her lover to open one of the doors. He let the reader decide which one.

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He received many letters from irate readers left in the lurch. Many offered their own resolution to the ending and begged him to finish it. Most women couldn’t fathom the barbaric nature of a woman who would send her lover through a portal to be eaten by a tiger.

A second book was written with more detail about the lives of the two characters, but still didn’t include an ending. The readers went wild again. At one point, graduates of Vassar College put it to a vote. The tiger received 18 votes and the lady only six.

Ten years later, readers were still talking about it. Not only did The Ladies Home Journal showcase the author, but offered his short story along with eleven others for free along with a one year subscription to Scribner’s Magazine.

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The book is offered free with 10 cents postage and $3.00 subscription.

Like so many who have written their first book, I am watching the publishing industry and new authors to see how they approach selling ebooks. I had been concerned after seeing prices drop from $5.99 to $2.99, and then given away for free on Amazon.

In 1893, there were probably those who thought Twain foolish when giving away The Century. I would bet the giveaway put his work in the hands of many who may not have been acquainted with the great writer.

Today, that is the goal as well. The free price is usually a limited time offer and it gets the book out to more people and the writer’s name on the lips of many.

Writing controversial books is still an effective way to get people talking. Just look at Fifty Shades of Grey!

No matter how many people are in a writer’s platform, a book is still sold by word of mouth. The more tongues wagging, the better the sales.

Here I am in 2013, reading this old magazine from 1893 and can still learn something. Now that’s what I call a treasure!

What do you think about giving books away?

Do you think controversy sells?

Related Articles:

The Ladies’ Home Journal

Mark Twain – Wikipedia

Frank R. Stockton – Wikipedia

Scott Turow and His Sinking Ship

The Nutley Hall of Fame

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