Tag Archives: social media

Unplug 4 Hours – It works!

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I bet you’re addicted. Come on. Admit it. How many times an hour do you check stats, emails, social media or text messages? Is it hard to unplug? How long do you procrastinate before settling down to do real work?

Although I have found my passion in writing and always meet deadlines, I recognized my addiction to the endorphin rush of the internet. Reading blog posts, watching views roll in (or sputter) after blogging or checking comments on my latest Facebook photo had sucked me into the spinning vortex. Even though I start writing around 9:00 AM each day, I felt as if a party was going on and I was missing out. I had become a victim of FOMO.  Sometimes, I would stand and stretch at the end of the day, wondering where the time went. Continue reading

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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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