Fantastic Meme Found in Crested Butte

bikes leaning across trail Telluride

Danny and I biked on a trail through Crested Butte. As we rode out of town, we noticed a gathering of people taking pictures. We dropped our bikes, walked up to the cement post, and cracked up.

Things I hate meme from Crested Butte

I would love to meet the person who graffitied it. This is my kind of humor.

If you had the opportunity and courage to graffiti, what would yours say?

Mine would say:

Things I love –

1 . Respect for property

2 . Natural selection

3 . Sarcasm

I still like the other one better.

Have you ever graffitied anything? A wall? A desk? A tree? Would you?

Need a Susie Whisperer? Random Acts of Chat

This photo is begging for a caption dogs begging for treats

My husband, Danny, and I watched the Dog Whisperer on TV last Saturday. An aggressive Ridgeback named George needed to learn submissive behavior. When leashed, he disobeyed his owners and picked up rocks along the trail.

So the dog picks up a rock and that’s a terrible thing because… I sipped my coffee and half-listened while skimming the newspaper.

The show’s host, Caesar Millan, explained the root problem for most aggressive behavior: Insecurity.

My ears perked up. That sounded a lot like human behavior.

Caesar planned to introduce George to a huge pack of similar size dogs including Rottweilers and Pit Bulls. He mentioned if he didn’t show control over George when introduced to the pack, the Ridgeback would be attacked and torn apart.

Well, that seemed risky. More than twenty humongous dogs circled Caesar and poor George inside the enclosure, but I trusted Caesar. *gulp*

Caesar unsnapped George’s leash and the dog’s tail and ears descended. George snarled. Caesar sprang to action and cornered George. He commanded him to lay down. He never touched the dog or praised it.

When George showed calm behavior, ears and tail up, he was allowed to check out the group. The pack took turns sniffing the new dog in all the best smelly dog places. Accepted, the Ridgeback had a wild romp with others in the pack.

Later, Caesar introduced rocks to George. The Ridgeback looked at him like, why would I want to play with those stupid things when I have all these fine canine friends?”

Reunited with his owners, George walked down a rocky trail and ignored rocks and other dogs. His owners couldn’t believe the dog’s transformation.

Credits rolled at the end of the show.

ME: Wow! Did you see that? One minute he was freaking out and the next, the dog was having a blast. He just needed to know Caesar was in control.

DANNY: I need a Susie Whisperer.

ME: I have one. They’re called writers conferences. *wags tail*

 

Shhh! Don’t Tell Anyone!

Do you remember the last time someone said to you, “Don’t tell anybody, but…”

I would be willing to bet that if you were hooked up to a monitor, your heart rate increased along with your blood pressure.

I bet that you leaned in a little and your voice got lower in pitch and you began speaking in a hushed tone.

I bet that your eyes looked away if you were in a crowd to make sure that without even knowing what top secret information would be passed along, you wanted to be sure that no one else could hear.

I would even be willing to bet that if the person said, “oh, never mind,” that your curiosity would be peaked and you would be very disappointed and frustrated. You might even say, “You can tell me. I can keep a secret.” Continue reading

Mischief and Madness – 300 Word Flash Fiction

The wind had slammed into the old Gothic Revival all evening. Camille Hastings shivered from a draft from which she couldn’t escape. She zipped up her velour hoodie. Her grandmother had been taken in for observation and Camille had offered to take care of her pets. While watching old horror movies, one of her three cats darted by.

The cable went dead and she turned off the static.  A scraping sound came from behind. She sprang from the Victorian sofa and gazed around the antique laden parlor. The blank dull eyes of a pair of statues seemed to glare at her from the top of a table.

***

She crossed the room and every hair on her body stood erect. She spun around to look at the porcelain busts and her gut clenched. Their eyes seemed to narrow as their grins grew broad.

She switched off the lights and walked through the dining room into the kitchen. I’m imagining things. While reaching for a glass from the cabinet, the overhead light flickered and a dark shadowy figure streaked by. “What the Hell?” She grabbed a knife from the drawer and searched the house. The three cats stretched out on the couch without concern. She climbed the stairs to the bedroom where she slid under the cold comforter and drifted off to sleep.

***

Camille awoke to footsteps. Her heart pounded. The glimmer of fading moonlight peaked between the curtains. Her eyes scanned the room, but no one was there. She glanced over at the bedside table. The carving knife glinted in the pale shaft of light. The alarm clock read 5:47. When Camille sat up to stretch, she let out a blood-curdling scream. The sibling statues stared at her with twin maniacal grins from the dresser at the foot of her bed.

~~~

“Mrs. Hastings, time for your medication. No more hallucinations?”

She shook her head and thought, I hope James and Judith leave Camille alone.

 When was the last time you were truly frightened?

Flash Fiction in 3 – 100 word chapters – The Halloween Friday Fright-fest continues!

Photo by S. Lindau 

The Mother of Invention

GE Vscan

In the 45 years since the television show Star Trek first aired, many of its gizmos and gadgets have become commonplace.  Almost everyone owns a communicator we call the cell phone. The device Lt. Uhura wore over her ear to speak to random beings in the universe and others on board is now known as Bluetooth. GPS, oversized flat screens, the PC, and computer tablet are now owned by users across the world. The tricorder that Dr. McCoy used to diagnose patients will soon be on the market and the cordless ultrasound called the GE Vscan also has some of these capabilities.

Although I look forward to new technology predicted in futuristic films, the computerized recognition sales technique used in Minority Report had me cringing. In that movie technology had moved into the phase of identification through the lens of the individual’s eyeball. Tom Cruise who played John Anderton strode through a mall where holograms spoke to each individual shopper walking by and tried to sell them their latest product. A voice said, “Welcome back to the Gap Mr. Yakimoto. How did those assorted tank tops work out for you?” John Anderton mutters, “Mr. Yakimoto,” even though it appears he is wearing a Gap tank top.

This weekend I stopped at Target and froze when I heard the sound of a commercial coming from the end cap of the aisle which seemed to run on a loop. The unnerving quality of the intrusion into my otherwise quiet thought process while shopping made me wonder how much longer it would be before it has the capability to sell me items based on past purchases. I stood next to a customer staring at the shelves for an inordinate amount of time and wondered if she was waiting for me to leave before she chose a particular ointment. How embarrassing would it be if a voice from an advertisement next to a product said, “Hello Ms. Lindau. How is that hemorrhoidal cream working for you?” or “Are you back for more tampons? You purchased Playtex Gentle Glide last time.” How personal will personalized shopping get? I would never get my husband Danny to pick up feminine hygiene products for me.

keyless car key pad

The latest in car keys – the keyless pad

Some inventions have brought a brand new set of frustrations with them. Have you ever mislaid your TV remote or cordless home telephone? It can be a nightmare when you lose your cellular phone and the battery dies so you can’t use its ringtone to find it. The automobile keyless entry and ignition seemed like a wonderful new development, but a problem arose for me. The new key is only a small lightweight black pad which can be misplaced easily. Why do manufacturers make everything in black? You only need to have this tiny instrument inside the car in order to start the engine. I have jumped in, pushed the ignition button, and driven somewhere only to discover that although the pad was somewhere in the car, it had vanished. Many times it has been dropped between the seats, misplaced in one of the six pockets of my tennis bag, and has slid underneath the seat when my purse tipped over. That tiny pad has hidden from me in the deepest and darkest recesses of the car. I know what you are thinking and I bought a huge key chain which has alleviated the problem, but whenever I don’t want something honking big in my purse or pocket, I unclip it and invariably lose the pad once again.

The invention of a universal locater would make life easier. It would be about 6 to 8 inches long and would come in several different bright colors that would glow in the dark. A wrist band for hanging it in a central location would be included. The unit would contain at least 5 different programmable color coded buttons. Coordinating computerized stickers would attach to the back of the most easily lost electronics. If the keyless pad was misplaced, I could simply push the color coded button and it would beep faster as I increased my proximity. Heck, it could have a read-out that would reveal its location or better yet, it could inform me through a speaker! I could use it for my sunglasses, garden tools, socks, … Of course it would have to come with its own locater in case it got lost.

Now if someone would invent a teleporter like the one in Star Trek I could throw out the keyless pad and say, “Beam me up Danny!”

Watch this if you think sales clerks can be pushy!

Lost – Flash Fiction Friday – 666 words

Nikki had hiked for hours certain the trail had been just ahead of her, but it was no use. She was lost. The sound of the river had been her guide and now she heard nothing but the crunching of leaves and twigs under her hiking boots and the blood pounding in her ears. Haunting evergreens with branches at odd angles towered over her like giants. She checked her cell again, but still didn’t have service. “Damn it!” A flash of lightning followed by thunder rang out through the canyon. Her water bottle was emptied  hours ago. She felt the hair on the back of her neck rise in warning. Just behind her she heard rustling in the underbrush.

She began to run and stumbled, but caught her balance before falling. Nikki looked back over her shoulder and whatever it was, gained speed and was closing in. The sight of a flickering light which danced through the dense thicket gave her hope and she sprinted faster. The blisters on her heels opened up, but she forced her way through the pain. As she approached, she could see the light which seemed to pulsate through the small window of an old shack.

She ran up to the door and banged. “Please, let me in!”

With an aching thirst and fear of what lurked behind her, Nikki turned the door handle, spun around and slammed the door shut. She was overwhelmed by an unfamiliar acrid smell. She turned and gazed around the small cabin. Some kind of meat was cooking on a spit over an ancient-looking stone fireplace which cast a warm glow in the mid-evil room. The floor was covered with a sticky substance and a stench filled her nostrils. She drew closer to an old plank table filled with bowls of all sizes and a huge iron pot.

As she leaned over to peer inside she felt someone take hold of her arm from behind and moan. She screamed and searched for a weapon to defend herself. She grasped a brass candlestick and swung her head around. To her amazement she gazed upon a handsome man who let go of her and raised his arms to protect himself.

She dropped the candlestick which clanged to the floor and stepped backwards.

“I, I am sorry. I’m Nikki. Who are you?”

The tall man swiped long dark curls out of his eyes and began using sign language.

“I don’t understand,” she said.

There was a thud on the roof and a howl. The man scrambled across the room. He picked up a torch leaning against the wall and lit it in the fireplace. Nikki heard several heavy footsteps up above. Then she heard it jump to the ground and then strike the front door.

The man swung the door open and groaned while waving the torch around.

He came back inside and bolted the door shut.

Nikki trembled.

He ran across the room and snatched a notebook and pencil from a blue frame pack.

He wrote something down on the pad and showed it to her.

“My name is Kevin and I am mute. Where did you come from?”

“Denver. I came to hike for the day. I started early this morning, but got turned around and lost the trail. The trees are so unusual. I didn’t recognize the mountains in the distance before the sun set. Where are we?”

He scribbled again.

“I have no idea. I have been lost for over three years now. Every time I’ve tried to escape, I ended up back at this cabin.”

“What was that thing?”

“I have never seen it, but it is as real as you and me.”

As she read the notebook, the window flew open on its wrought iron hinges and a cold gust blew into the small room extinguishing the fire. Complete darkness engulfed her. She reached out and said, “Kevin?”

A bony hand as cold as ice clutched her wrist and she screamed, “AAAHHHHHH!”

When was the last time you were truly frightened?

 

Photo by S. Lindau

Just Put Your Lips Together and Blow! Please…

man whistling gif

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.

gif of girl whisling with eye patch

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.”

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.

girl whistling

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