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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

To teenagers, young adults and all you little whiners, here you go from us 30ers

If you are 30 or older you will think this is hilarious!!!!

When I was a kid, adults used to bore me to tears with their tedious
diatribes about how hard things were when they were growing up; what with walking twenty-five miles to school every morning ... uphill BOTH ways.
yadda, yadda, yadda

And I remember promising myself that when I grew up, there was no way I was going to lay a bunch of crap like that on kids about how hard I
had it and how easy they've got it!

But now that I'm over the ripe old age of thirty, I can't help but look
around and notice the youth of today. You've got it so easy! I mean,
compared to my childhood, you live in a Utopia! And I hate to say it
but you kids today don't know how good you've got it!

I mean, when I was a kid we didn't have The Internet. If we wanted to know something, we had to go to the library and look it up ourselves, in the card catalog!!

There was no email! ! We had to actually write somebody a letter ... with a pen! Then you had to walk all the way across the street and put it in the mailbox and it Would take like a week to get there!

There were no MP3's or Napsters! You wanted to steal music, you had to
hitchhike to the record store and shoplift it yourself!


Or you had to wait around all day to tape it off the radio and the DJ'd
usually talk over the beginning and mess it all up!

We didn't have fancy stuff like Call Waiting! If you were on the phone and somebody else called they got a busy signal, that's it!

And we didn't have fancy Caller ID Boxes either! When the phone rang, you had no idea who it was! It could be your school, your mom, your boss, your bookie, your drug dealer, a collections agent, you just didn't know!!! You had to pick it up and take your chances, mister!

We didn't have any fancy Sony Playstation video games with high-resolution 3-D graphics! We had the Atari 2600! With games like "Space Invaders" and "asteroids" and the graphics sucked! Your guy was a little square! You actually had to use your imagination! And there were no multiple levels or screens, it was just one screen forever! And you could never win. The game just kept getting harder and harder and faster and faster until you died!
Just like LIFE!

When you went to the movie theater there no such thing as stadium seating! All the seats were the same height! If a tall guy or some old broad with a hat sat in front of you and you couldn't see, you were just screwed!

Sure, we had cable television, but back then that was only like 15 channels and there was no on screen menu and no remote control! You had to use a little book called a TV Guide to find out what was on!

You were screwed when it came to channel surfing! You had to get off your butt and walk over to the TV to change the channel and there was no Cartoon Network either! You could only get cartoons on Saturday Morning. Do you hear what I'm saying!?! We had to wait ALL WEEK for cartoons, you spoiled brats!

And we didn't have microwaves, if we wanted to heat something up . we had to use the stove or go build a fire ... imagine that! If we wanted
popcorn, we had to use that stupid Jiffy Pop thing and shake it over the stove forever like an idiot.

That's exactly what I'm talking about! You kids today have got it too easy.
You're spoiled!!!

You guys wouldn't have lasted five minutes back in 1980!

Regards,
The over 30 Crowd

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Monday, July 30, 2007

Blocking Property of Certain Persons.... WTH is this?

Destabilizing Iraq, Broadly Defined

"President Bush issued an executive order last week titled "Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq." In the extreme, it could be interpreted as targeting the financial assets of any American who directly or indirectly aids someone who has committed or "poses a significant risk of committing" violent acts "threatening the peace or stability of Iraq" or who undermines "efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform" in the war-torn country."

Admittedly, I've been out of the news loop lately and definitely out of the blogosphere but... what the hell is this exactly and who thinks it's in anyway a good idea? What is the real motivation of this? That's what I want to know.

My aunt sent me a link to St. Pete for Peace and I've been reading through it. So... what do you think?

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Sunday, July 22, 2007

Book Review Harry Potter Deathly Hallows

At long last people around the world know what ultimately happened to the Boy Who Lived. Many children have grown up with Harry Potter in their lives. They have been stimulated. There is no doubt that Harry Potter has been responsible for a great increase in reading for pleasure among children.

And here we are, the end has come. There is no way to properly do this book justice without discussing what occurred in the final installment. If you have not read book seven and do not wish to know what happens, do not continue reading.

Book seven brings together many of the players of the previous stories. We see Lee, our favorite announcer, we see the members of the order, we see Hagrid's giant brother, and more. The reunion of characters is satisfying.

We travel with Harry one more time to Privet Drive. There is a touching article about Dumbledore that opens the story arch that develops within book seven. Dumbledore's family and his history is a main plot line. At times I found it difficult to believe some of the behavior and actions described of Dumbledore, however, with the conclusion of the story I found myself accepting and comfortable. Many times I have wondered about the history of Albus Dumbledore. With book seven I find many answers to my questions.

The Dursley's are moved to a safe place and members of the order appear before Harry with many of his friends. Their plan is to use polyjuice to "duplicate" Harry Potter and escape because they know the Death Eaters are preparing an attack. As soon as they fly to make their escape they are attacked. This attack kicks off the violence and darkness within the story.

There is a war going on. It is dark and deadly. In this first encounter two of our beloved characters leave us: Mad Eye Moody and Hedwig the owl. Ron, Hermione and Harry eventually strike out on their own, traveling and hiding, seeking the last of the Horcruxes. In this search we discover the tale of the deathly hallows. Three magical items that when brought together will cheat death: A wand, a robe, and a stone. And as the Harry Potter story began with a stone, so it ends with a stone.

Another major item that has always existed with us readers is, what is the story behind Snape. Is he good or is he evil? The less complicated answer is... he is both. J.K. Rowling has done Severus a great justice and even though how he died was a bit of a surprise to me, the result was... well, fantastic if I do say. Snape joined the Death Eaters and a part of him was one of them. If not for Lily Potter, Snape probably would have fully embraced the life of a dark one. However, as we learn, Snaped had one great love and it was his love of Lily that pulled him from Voldemort and brought him to Dumbledore. We readers now know what we need to know about Snape.

There were two moments within the story that did make me pause while I battled tears. Dobby was one of my favorite characters and I always enjoyed seeing him. When he died and the subsequent burial, I admit to being quite upset. The second.... Fred. Who has not cheered for the Weasley's? Who has not said those Weasley twins are two of the best characters ever? Who did not stand up and do a little dance at the end of Order of the Phoenix when the twin's make their exciting exit? When Fred Weasley died I simply could not turn the page. I sat there, my finger frozen on the page, while I read and reread the paragraph.

Fred is not the last to die and the final chapters of DH are an up and down of bravery, and sadness. The story focuses on death, how does one master death? Using Horcruxes or Hallows... Horcruxes or Hallows. Harry matures as he makes choices that many would be hard pressed to make. Ultimately, Harry makes a sacrifice, a sacrifice as powerful as his mother's. With that sacrifice Harry mastered death.

The final confrontation between Harry and Voldemort is tense. The battle between Mrs. Weasley and Bella was well done and I could not help but feel the rush of excitement when her strike landed the killing blow.

And in the end, Harry is victorious. Voldemort is finally gone from the wizarding world... The last chapter takes us into the future where we see Harry and his wife, Ginny, with their three children. Once more we see Ron and Hermione, together with their children. We know that Neville is a professor and we see a glimpse of Draco. And as the adults who were once children stand and watch their own children board the train to Hogwarts, we take a deep breath and smile. It has been a long and emotional journey and life continues. We will miss our old friends. We will think of them fondly. And then we will turn ourselves to the future.

I know that I will be returning to the world of Harry Potter again, and so will my children. And with that, all I have left to say is, Thank You J.K. Rowling.

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

My thoughts on HP Order of the Phoenix movie.

I admit to being a Harry Potter fan. I recall when I first saw the first book and picked it up on a whim. I have been to each midnight book release and have read the stories many times. I've been pretty wishy-washy on the movies. I much prefer the detail from the books. So, I read the movie reviews of OthP with caution. I believe it is my favorite of the series and was unsure how the movie could really convey the important points in such a condensed fashion.

Some reviews said it wasn't good. Some reviews said it was wonderful. Some said Dolores made the day... and others said Bella was the highlight. Others, still said that Harry's faithful friends drifted to the background.

What do I think? I went in to that movie with five years of Harry Potty history floating around my mind. They selected a great actress for Dolores, she did a great job with the role she was given and I enjoyed her presence. Though, I do wish we had seen more of the mayhem caused by those Wonderful W Twins we all know and love! Bellatrix was fantastic. Carter did a great job and I really look forward to seeing more of her in the HBP. I didn't feel that the others were in the background. There was so much to the story of OthP and yes, most of it was transitional.

In the end, I did enjoy the movie very much. I think they did a good job with it. My husband who has never read the books (shame on him) said this was his least favorite movie.

So, have you reserved your copy of the grand finale?

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Thursday, July 12, 2007

TT 13 things I realized while wearing blinders


I took some time off from blogging and even when I did pop on for a quick post. It was brief and I did little surfing among my blogging buddies. I consider this period of time as the time I "put my blinders on". As my first TT after my hiatus, I thought it would be interesting to share 13 things I learned (or was reminded of) when I wore my blinders.

1. If you remove the creative stimulation that you are used to and hope to call it on a whim... you will be lucky to find it hiding in the corner of your mind, shivering from disuse.

2. If you think that removing some of your small obsessions will allow you to get more accomplished on bigger life matters, like finally cleaning the basement, or organizing the garage; you will just find yourself finding new small obsessions.

3. Stepping away from things you enjoy (just for you) to give yourself more time for other things doesn't work. There is no more free time. Ever.

4. No matter how quick you are, how smart, or how well you adapt; as you get older it is darn hard to learn new things about crap that doesn't interest you.

5. Two words: Semiconductor Industry (see #4)

6. I really like playing in photoshop (see #2) except that I feel like a dummy trying to figure it out.

7. Project Playlist is awesome.

8. If you want to do someting. You need to do it. Stop thinking about it.

9. My children are growing up faster than I can keep up with them. So I won't stress about it. (yeah right, delusion #1)

10. Delusions and denial are sometimes needed to keep yourself from drowning.

11. I really like Last Comic Standing.

12. If I never hear another word about Britney Spears it will be too soon.

13. You are never too old to try new things, and you've never been away too long from the things you love to return to them.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Gearing up for the Harry Potter movie rush! (another non-title post brought to you by our friends at blogger)

I am going to go see HP and the order, regardless of what other critics say... but I thought I'd go ahead and see what preliminary reviews were out and about on the net. If you'd like to see them too, here you go:

A 7/10 Review
Article about Staunton as Umbridge
A must visit for reviews is the Rotten Tomatoes
Leaky Cauldron has a good list as well!

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Monday, July 09, 2007
Grrr, for the last three posts I have not been able to enter a title... why on earth is that happening?

Anyway, it's been some time since I've been on the train, but I thought I'd go ahead and climb aboard for this week. The Poetry Train presents:

Unseen threads slide upon our palms
Gossimer strands shimmer
Soft tugs pull at our fingers from time to time,
an unexplained tingle

The threads glide across our bodies
Incorporeal wisps linger upon the strands
No beginning or end, only a steady flow
toward the hand that weaves the tapestry of fate


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Saturday, July 07, 2007
Ok, we took the family out to the movies and I have to say that Transformers is totally awesome! Oh man, they did an awesome job on everything. The acting was good, the graphics were sweet, and the story.... just loved it. It made me remember all those days my brother and I watched Transformers.

I did pick up Judas Strain. I also picked up the new one by Christine Feehan, Safe Harbor. I also picked up a new hardback by an author I wasn't familiar with. The review on the front described it as "funny, dark, and sexy. One of my favorite books." Then the inside cover gave an interesting blurb... calling it exotic, etc. It wasn't until I got it in the car and looked at the UPC sticker on the back that I saw this book was coded as young adult. Hmmmmmm. The way they've described it doesn't strike me as YA. I'm going to have to read it and see what I think. Here's the cover of it if you are interested, it's City of Bones by Cassandra Clare.

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Happy Saturday guys and gals!

A new book is out that I just need to run out and get. I think I'll be going today!

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Friday, July 06, 2007

Reminder for the Summer Hidden Contest

Susan over at West of Mars has worked hard on this great summer event! I just wanted to remind you to visit and see the most recent link with incentives!

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Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Fourth of July Facts

1776: The Declaration of Independence is signed on July 4 in Philadelphia. Celebrations are held throughout the colonies and in New York City, where crowds topple a statue of King George III of England on his horse.

1808: Residents of Richmond, Va., decide that only liquor produced in the United States should be consumed at July Fourth celebrations. The resolution is a result of the tension between the United States and Great Britain that eventually leads to the War of 1812.

1911: William Howard Taft heads to Indianapolis, where he sits in a grandstand on July Fourth and watches two locomotives smash into each other at full throttle.

1942: Fireworks in most cities are canceled because of blackouts enforced during World War II.

2006: The space shuttle Discovery lifts off at Kennedy Space Center, marking the first launch on the Fourth of July.

James Heintze is also author of the new "The Fourth of July Encyclopedia," published by McFarland & Company Inc. and available at www.mcfarlandpub.com.

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