Tag Archives: social media

How to Get The Little Blue Check

Okay. So it’s technically a white check in a blue badge. I’m going along with the majority and will call it The Little Blue Check.

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Have you ever wondered why some people with Twitter accounts have a little blue check next to their name while others are slighted? This icon is symbolic of becoming an up-and-comer or famous and can be awarded to those who have so many fans, fake accounts abound. Continue reading

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How My PC Almost Killed Me

It started out like any other ordinary day. I sipped coffee while checking email and social media.

I had no idea what was coming

9:00 AM - I opened Microsoft Word to get some real work accomplished. It surprised me that I’d left three documents open from the day before. A draft of my Boob Report and a travel post listed as Document 2 and 3 hadn’t been named. The third was my book. I rewrote 202 pages during the last week and had been hitting Control, Save without changing the file name. I checked my saved files. Whoa! The last time my computer saved my book was on 8-8 and it was 8-15. My computer had been acting glitchy after downloading 5000 photos from my vacation. I had purchased an external hard drive and had freed up another 5 GBs.

Not too worried, I pressed, “Save as” expecting the file name option to come up, when my computer froze. I got an error message, “The Dialog box is open.” What the heck is an Open Dialog Box?

9:21 - I tried everything and then called my husband Danny. He gave me the name of his IT guy, Matt.

10:57 - Matt called me back and began working on the computer via internet.

11:40 - He called to give me the bad news. “I can’t find those files anywhere. I think you’re screwed. Just Control, Alt, Delete and reboot, but you won’t be able to save your files.

11:57 - I freaked out! I called Danny in tears. “I worked all week on those stories and my rewrite. What should I do?”

“You’ll probably have to Control, Alt, Delete.”

“I’m not giving up.” Continue reading

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In Defense of Emoticons, Asterisks, and Exclamation Points!!!

Have you ever been in a conversation and found yourself blurting out what you think is a funny joke only to be met with a blank expression?

Imagine writing a comment using sardonic wit. The writer of the post can be left wondering what the hell you meant by that and may slap their laptop shut, storm out of their study, then sit back down and Unfollow you!

Insert smiley face :) and voila! Sarcasm bursts through the words and the writer giggles along with the commenter.

When I first started blogging around two years ago, it took me a while to get the hang of commenting. At first, I went into hyperdrive and left lame, “Great post!” comments everywhere.

Then I slowed down and read other reader’s comments. Some chose eloquent words. Others related to the content of the post and either responded emotionally or revealed something about themselves.  A few were hysterically funny. Most used different ways to express their emotion.

I look forward to reading what you think of my words. Sometimes comments make me laugh. Others are so sweet, they are like precious gifts, so I copy them to a saved file. Once in a while, I scratch my head and wonder.

To help you through the emotional minefield of commenting, I came up with:

Susie’s Surefire Glossary to Conveying Emotion:

Emoticons - Many comments contain the smiley face. :) It has always reminded me of Walmart, so it took a while for the association to fade. Now I LOVE the round yellow faces! They are like happy little bubbles of joy, unless they are unhappy faces. :(

Asterisks - Many use them for sound effects. **clink**, **crash**, **gulp**, **giggle**. These fun additions add another dimension to the comment and tickle my funny bone.

Exclamation Points – Okay. I’ll admit it. I am an exclamation point junkie! When wanting to convey my big goofy grin, I use them like periods. Honest to God. I have to go through every happy comment and take out at least half of them before Replying. Sometimes my itchy finger presses Reply too soon.

sample of sarcasm Continue reading

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Prepare to Be Typealzyed!

You have got to try this!

I am willing to bet that everyone has looked up their astrological profile. What’s your sign? See? Do you think it sums up your personality?

Our preconceived idea of who we are may differ from how we project ourselves in society.

I found the coolest site on the internet. Really! Anyone who has a blog can type in their URL and its author’s personality type will be analyzed or “Typealyzed.” It is based on word choice and repetition.

I thought, “What the heck. It’s a lot easier than answering a bunch of questions.” I entered the URL of my blog and let it rip! I was so curious to see what it said about my Wild Riding personality type. My hands perspired as my mind raced. I hoped it was upbeat, but wondered if I could be giving off some kind of weird vibe…. Continue reading

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Avoid the Big Nose, Giant Head, and Devil Eyes this Holiday Season

It is so much fun to point, shoot and instantly post your photographs on Facebook or Twitter. I really enjoy seeing them, but there are some pretty gawdawful pictures out there. Let me help you banish the bleak, delete the delinquent, and take a better photo this holiday season. Your friends and family won’t be horrified when they find themselves tagged in snapshots with enormous faces or bodies that are freakishly distorted.

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Don’t be the overexposed “big nose” this holiday season. Right Roxy?

Ten Tips for taking better pictures: Continue reading

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Don’t Touch Your Clocks…Yet!


It is Daylight Saving Time when we are told to set our clocks back one hour, but I am begging you, DON’T DO IT! Think about it for a minute. How important is time? There must be a moment every day when you wish you had a few extra minutes, let alone a whole extra hour, right? So why not save it! Yes! Save the hour and use it when you really need it! It is Daylight Saving Time after all. Continue reading

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From Virtual to Reality

My illustration of the virtual people who read my blog for the first time.

When I began blogging, I remember getting the jitters. I had worried about using my real name. Since I was blogging for a writer’s platform, it made sense to send it into the blogosphere along with my words.

My friends and family wondered how smart it was to expose myself to strangers. Some thought I could be conversing with thugs from prison. “Hey!” I retorted, “Everyone makes mistakes and if they enjoy my blog, well, that’s a great sign of positive reform!”

They wondered how I could possibly make friends online. Continue reading

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A Leap of Faith – 100 Word Flash Fiction

“Follow me,” said Tucker.

Kristie held the heavy backpack close to her cold body as a shield against the biting wind. The wet snowflakes nipped at her face leaving it raw. She tried to keep up while trudging through the deep snow. Her legs quivered with exertion. Am I ready for this? Continue reading

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Just Put Your Lips Together and Blow! Please…

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Red Skelton and fellow whistlers 

There is a memory that resonates from my childhood. It is a sound so delightful in its simplicity and one that I personally strived for hours to produce. It is a magical sound that could turn heads with its type of call. This sound could trigger a reaction instantaneously. It is precariously on the edge of extinction and yet no one seems to notice or care. Please! I beg you to do something about the fate of the whistle before it’s forever silenced.

Oh sure you can still hear it at sporting events, concerts, and an occasional graduation; meaning – “Thank the Lord! Whew, that was close!”

We used to rely on the whistle’s intonations for communication long before the invention of the cell phone or telephone for that matter. It could mean, “Hey! I’m over here!” or “Honey, you are one hot smokin’ babe!” or “EVERYBODY, SHUT UP!”

Its imminent demise is obvious when looking up the “meaning of whistleblowing.” The Free Dictionary states, and I quote: Whistleblower n. One who reveals wrongdoing within an organization to the public or to those in positions of authority.

What? I was looking up the nuances in whistles. Soon no one will know the difference between a “Hey! How are yah!” and a “cat call.”

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A tutorial, although the guy on the right may be snorting

Long before the I-pod, whistling was the fastest way to reproduce the latest hit tune. I noticed the first signs of discontent when my children were living at home. I would happily whistle in my kitchen and could feel their glaring eyes since the shrill sound interfered with the tonal quality of their headsets. They would storm off to their rooms to switch out their earbuds for noise cancelling headphones.

I grew up in simpler times, when the only television programs worth watching started at 7:00 in the evening.  When we were bored during a long hot summer afternoon, my friends and I would whistle to call to a confused bird who hoped for a mid-day quickie. This nasty trick worked best on cardinals. They seemed to fall prey to our adolescent hijinks more often than the other birds. I often wondered if they just didn’t hear as well or if they were the horniest species around. They would call back in response flying closer and closer, only to realize it was a stupid human producing the intoxicating siren call and not a voluptuous feathered friend.

There are many ways to produce the sound. The most common way to whistle is to purse your lips making a little “o”, suck in your cheeks, and blow. Pressing your thumb and forefinger together and putting them in your mouth has been known to produce a piercing whistle that could leave an unsuspecting listener with hearing damage. See warnings below. There is also the two fisted approach where the whistler takes their index fingers and hooks them into the corners of their mouth creating a wind tunnel effect, but operator misuse has also been known to misfire a saliva ball.

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Years ago, my friend Lori taught me a new technique

I found these warnings in Wikipedia:

If you find you can whistle really loud, refrain from doing so in someone’s ear. It generally is not appreciated, because it tends to hurt.

Sometimes you may find yourself short of breath after whistling loudly or for a long time.

You may feel wheezy after whistling/practicing for too long. 

When your lips are chapped/dry, whistling might cause them to split further. That hurts like a… witch, so you’re advised to not try it when this is the case (chapstick will help). 

Learning to whistle when I was growing up was a rite of passage along with tying my shoes and riding a bike. Now it has been replaced by learning to text and tweet on a multicolored and sometimes bedazzled cell phone. When children are trying to get each other’s attention, now all they have to do is dig their cell phone out from under the juice box in their Harry Potter backpack and text the kid in front of them, “Dude, slow down! : P”

When trying to get a teenager to come out of their slovenly bedroom for dinner the whistle has been replaced by a text from mom or dad.

The family dog may be the only stronghold to the whistle’s complete demise. Only they seem unphased by recent technological advancements. By using any of the above techniques, not only will one find the results quite favorable, but you may also obtain a positive response from the neighbor’s dog.

Soon no one will remember what a whistle was used for. It will become an ancient artifact along with the VCR, cassette tapes, and the rotary telephone.

I beg of you please consider this request. Set your phone down, put your lips together, and blow!

Do you still whistle?

The most famous whistle  – a must see!
3rd photo by S. Lindau the rest by Google 

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And Our Flag was Still There!

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I had smiled and hugged my kids, then sent them out the door to school on September 11th. What happened while I cleaned up the cereal bowls still brings me to tears today. Alone in my kitchen while watching the Today Show on a small television, I witnessed mass destruction broadcast live. When the second plane crashed into the tower, my heart became gripped in a kind of terror I had never felt before. Speculation soon became reality that we had been attacked.

My immediate family along with my parents had been inside the World Trade Center only a few weeks before. My son Kelly must have had an intuitive sense about The Twin Towers. As soon as we arrived in New York City, he would frequently ask, “How far are the Twin Towers from here?” This was the first stop before a European vacation and we only had two full days to show my parents around, but because of Kelly, we taxied down to the financial district.

My husband and I had owned a toy and school supply business and had traveled to New York City for Toy Fair many times. I had never been all that interested in the Wall Street area and had only traveled down there once.

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After taking many pictures of The Statue of Liberty, the six of us traipsed the couple blocks to the Towers. We had wanted to take a tour of The Top of the World and hoped to get a bite to eat in their top floor restaurant. We had heard about the breathtaking views of the city and ocean. As we entered the cool cream granite tiled building, we were taken by the high ceilings and natural light. We gazed in disappointment at the line for the tour that wove up the massive stairway and around the second floor, imagining it went on for floors above us. With so little time to see everything in the City, we opted for a main floor explore. When we saw a sign for gifts and shops under the building we walked down the stairs to take a peek. A number of stalls were set up with independent vendors selling trinkets to tourists. My daughter Courtney and I had begun to collect silver and gold charms so we were enthralled by one of the displays of thousands of them. The salesman was young and had a thick head of black curly hair. He smiled broadly at us and asked many questions. After a wonderful and friendly exchange, we settled on an apple charm.

My family and I climbed the stairs and entered the blinding sunlight. We stopped and bought a few items from the vendors selling leather goods and socks on the sidewalk. I am always amazed at how warm some New Yorkers are. The general feeling on the street had changed a lot from the original stereotype I witnessed many years before.

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Weeks later, alone in my kitchen, the memory of the people I met that day in the Twin Towers came back to me. No one heard my screams when the second tower tumbled to the ground. My heart wrenched for the unsuspecting workers who came to put in their hours making cheerful conversation with other tourists and for all who did business in the offices above. All these years later, just writing this brings tears to my eyes.

So many emotions rose from my heart that day. Sadness for the loss of all the wonderful people who died, but intense anger for the terrorists that changed so much for us in this country in one horrific day.

After sobbing for hours I rose from my chair and stormed down the basement stairs looking for our cache of American flags. We had just sold our wholesale business, but had sold flags along with many other sundry items for years. I found the electrostatic flags and pressed one on my car window. I went back down the stairs and dug through cardboard boxes until I found a couple of small flags. I stuck them into the remaining flowers planted in the cement pots outside at the front entry. I smiled when I found our 4×8 flag. It still hung on a wooden pole from the last Boy Scout meeting. I took it off the pole and jerry-rigged the string through the grommets and hung it lengthwise on the front door.

I held my breath along with many other Americans, praying for no other heinous attacks. Every time I heard the theme music which plays for breaking news during television interruptions, my heart would race. I had to turn off the TV every time it repeated the video of the collapse of the buildings. This was the only time in my life, when depression took hold of me. I knew why I was going through this rough period and allowed myself the time to grieve along with the nation. I think part of the reason it hit me so hard was experiencing the death of so many, live on TV, alone with no one to talk to until later in the day. It took me months before I could go to a sports arena or shopping mall without fear.

By the 4th of July, I sensed the strength of comradery as a nation which had put aside differences to come together like never before in my memory. When the Star Spangled Banner blared at the end of the concert we attended, we heard the very first shouts of, “AND OUR FLAG WAS STILL THERE!” Those words came to life in a way I had never thought of before. We would endure. I smiled and shivers ran up my spine. I was never prouder of our country or of being an American. I stood with my husband, two children, and fellow Americans as tears ran down my cheeks.

All Photos by S. Lindau

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