February 25, 2012

Is It News Or A Variety Show?

What has happened to the news these days? I don’t watch daytime television and haven’t for quite a while because most of it isn’t worth tuning into but now the news has gotten silly.

In the evening when I do turn on the television for the latest reports and weather we are bombarded with advertisements for the morning show where anchor people have turned into blooming idiots playing, “Rock, Paper, Scissors,” pretending to play musical instruments or having eating contests. “Can Jed eat that twenty pound steak?” Do people honestly enjoy that kind of stuff? I just want the news, people.

It’s bad enough that we’ve put actors out of work by hiring any Joe on the street thinking America gives a hoot about “Reality,” now we are trying to turn the news cast into street entertainers.

And what’s with the coffee? Everyone is drinking coffee and then someone comes in with a pot giving refills. Where are the tea drinkers? That’s what I want to know. I guess I couldn’t be an anchorperson since I don’t drink coffee.

Well my solution was to just not turn it on but some evening broadcasts are switching to this new kind of reporting as well. People no longer sit behind a counter, they now stand showing off their fashion clothes because drab conservative anchor duds were too boring. I can’t keep my attention on the map to find out if it’s going to rain because Susie’s glittery dress is distracting me.

And since when is an actors personal life breaking news? I can see letting us know when a famous person passes away but do we really care who is having an affair with whom or what celebrity is going into rehab for the umpteenth time? I don’t. They have separate entertainment shows for that.

It’s bad enough that most of them are slanted to their own personal political agenda. I’ve always thought they should paint a big elephant or donkey on the back wall to let new people know which side of the fence they stand on. Just tell me up front what you believe so I can make my decision because you aren’t going to change my mind based on your opinions.

Personally, I’d just as soon read the paper to get my news but the weather changes so much here in Oklahoma you have to keep a close watch on it sometimes and we only have one local paper which is also very slanted in their beliefs.

My favorite used to be PBS but they recently fired everyone and hired all new people for no apparent reason other than the fact they were old. I got a kick out of the weatherman because he always sounded drunk. I’m pretty sure he wasn’t but his voice had that tone that was fun to listen to. “Hurry, Hon, the drunk guy is telling the weather.”

I still watch PBS because at least we don’t have all the hoopla distracting me from the real reason I’ve turned on my television.

Yes, I know you can get news from the Internet too but I haven’t quite gotten into that. I do check out the web for world news but so far our local online news isn’t very user friendly. I can spend a lot of time trying to find a story about recent events. They purposely don’t update them right away because they want you to watch them on T.V.

I don’t have a problem with change when it’s for the better, but personally, I don’t think making news shows a three ring circus an improvement.

February 16, 2012

How To Be Popular On Facebook

Do you ever wonder why some people get all kinds of responses and comments and you can’t get anyone to even “like” your update? I’ll let you in on a few tips of why some people aren’t getting noticed on social networking sites.

Don’t take this personally if you fit one or more of these descriptions. We’ve all been one of these on occasion, you just want to make sure you aren’t that way all of the time.  

People are drawn to happy, fun, upbeat people so if you want to be popular on Facebook or any other social networking site avoid the following behavior. 

The Whiner

We all have bad days when everything seems to happen wrong but these people must have been born on Wednesday because their life is full of woe. They always need someone to pray for them, their relationship is always on the verge of breaking up, their boss hates them, they’ve lost/losing their job or they don’t have enough money.

Nobody likes a wet blanket. For Pete’s sake, surely something good has happened in your life this week, tell your friends a nice story once in a while and back off of the gloom and doom all of the time.

The Ranter

These people need a chill pill; they are always pissed off at someone or everyone. I imagine they are the people on the highway with road rage. If everyone would just straighten up and do as they say the world would be a much better place.

Go down to your local pharmacy and have your blood pressure checked, seriously.

The Politician

They aren’t running for office themselves although from their updates I’m sure they feel they could fix all of the nations problems if they could just get in the White House.

Every update is their political views about who should be in office or impeached.

Some of these are funny and I do learn things I wouldn’t always get from the news on television but this is information overload.

Take it down a notch; switch it up a bit with puppy bulletins or funny cartoons. We like variety.

The Activist

From animal rights to occupy Wall Street these people all have a stand on some issue and they make sure we all see the latest bulletin, horrible video of abuse or news story.

I’d love to save the baby seals but please don’t show any more pictures of them being beaten with clubs; some of us are eating lunch.

February 12, 2012

The Real Meaning Of Somebody And We

Around my house we use code words that have underlying meaning. Unless you live here and learn the lingo you might not pick up on these subtle nuances so I’m going to enlighten you.

We don’t want to sound accusatory or like we are making demands so we use this way of speaking to offhandedly make suggestions or let the other one know what we feel needs to be done. No finger pointing is done, no direct complaints (in most cases) and no orders are given.  

Most of the time it works out fine unless one of us is in a cranky mood and then all the subtlety in the world won’t work.


If I say, “‘Somebody’ left the bread unopened on the counter” or “‘Somebody’ wadded up the dishrag instead of spreading it out so it can dry,” it usually means my husband.

I don’t want to point any fingers and blame anyone but want him to notice his transgressions. I don’t say, “I’m not your mother or maid,” because truth be known I kind of am.

It won’t change anything, the bread will be left to dry another day and the dish cloth left to sour but it makes me feel better letting him know I saw that and would appreciate it if he doesn’t do it again.

If he’s in a bad mood he’ll say, “I know ‘Somebody’ is me.”

Then to smooth over the edges I’ll say, “Of course you are ‘Somebody,” Darlin.”


“We” is me.

If my husband says, “‘We’ need to get some more cookies” or “‘We’ need to deposit this check,” he’s talking about me doing these things.

Also if he says, “I thought “we” were going to take care of that?” This also means me. It’s his way of letting me know, “I told you to do that, why didn’t you take care of it?”

After years of marriage people get a little weird.

You Know Who

Our dog is deaf now but he’s really smart and when he could still hear we would often say, “I’ll give the rest of my pizza to You Know Who.”

Trouble is Basil is so smart he eventually figured out that when we said You Know Who we were talking about him so he would get excited when we said we were going to give him some food.  You would think after the dog learned his code title we would stop but no.

Sometimes he’s still referred to as You Know Who even though he is deaf as a post and hasn’t a clue what we are saying much less who the conversation is about.


I’m thinking about having shirts printed with We and Somebody on the fronts that way when people come over there won’t be any confusion as to who we are talking about when speaking in code.  

I guess I should have a shirt made for the dog too. 

February 8, 2012

My Husband Loses Things

They say opposites attract and it’s a good thing because if my husband married a woman like himself they would spend eternity playing hide and go seek. He can lose things better than anyone I know. If there was an occupation for people who could hide things he would be a huge success in that field.

Instead, he's a budget analyst, he can't find his house shoes but can find an error on a spreadsheet.

He spends half his life looking for things he’s lost. Fussing, cussing and discussing where he could possibly have left his “fill in the blank.”

Car keys, driver’s license, birth certificate, passport, keys to rental properties, computer cable, brief case, television remotes, DVD remotes and running shoes are some of the things he’s lost in recent months. As you can see he makes sure it’s important things that get misplaced.

He thinks I’m a smart aleck because I almost never lose my possessions and also am very good at helping him find his. Not that I’d make a good private investigator but I am pretty good at locating missing items.

Sometimes I’m busy and think to myself, “I’m going to let him find his own things this time, I have more important things to do than run around finding a grown man’s stuff.” It never fails, I am soon caught up in the hunt feeling sorry for him especially if he has to be somewhere soon and the item at large is a key element, in fact it probably is a key and he won’t get very far without it.

I’ve tried to tell him, “You need to tell yourself where you put things. When you lay your wallet down look at it and make a mental note, ‘I’ve put my wallet on the clothes dryer’ and then ask yourself, ‘why am I putting my wallet on the clothes dryer? Because you know that isn’t where it belongs.”

“I know I know I should pay more attention but I forget.”

It sometimes works for a little while especially after losing something important but then a few days or weeks later he’ll be running around like a chicken with his head cut off trying to find something else.

We’ve had people bring his wallet to him (they found it on the side of the road, we think he left it on the roof of his car) with all the money still inside. Yeah, he’s lucky. I teased him and asked if he threw his wallet out the window while driving down the road. He didn’t think that was funny.

He has lost cell phones, people will bring him his wallet complete with credit cards and large sums of money intact but keep his phone. Go figure.

People who lose things on a regular basis are usually aggravated with people like me who almost never lose anything. If my stuff disappears it’s normally because someone else moved it.

It’s because he is preoccupied with too many other things and paying attention to where he put his cup isn’t at the top of the list of things on his mind. And quite possibly it’s also because he has a personal finder that will locate his stuff after he’s misplaced them. 

February 3, 2012

Online Writing Too Competitive

It’s a dog eat dog world out here in the land of blogging and some take it so seriously they stand alone.

Some writers have had bad experiences giving tips and now they are hesitant to do it again. They have helped someone who sold their secrets or moved ahead in the ranks, so they have decided they will go it on their own not lending a hand to another soul. That is a shame.

Writing is constantly changing

I’ve learned a lot over the years about SEO: search engine optimization, keywords and working social networking groups. I try to share my knowledge when I can.

Information and techniques change all the time. What works today may not work tomorrow and the ideas we implemented yesterday may work better next week. It’s an ongoing learning experience and you must be good at research in order to succeed in this business.

There is a lot of competition out there and the better you get the more you have to watch your back mostly for copycats stealing our work but there are also some who fear being left behind in the pack. You also can’t trust everyone who gives advice, some will steer you in the wrong direction to better help their lead⎯terrible, but true.

The race is on

Think of it as a marathon, there’s always a guy or group of people in the lead and the rest are following behind. We try to watch and see what he does differently; maybe it’s his stride, brand of shoes or the way he stretches before and after each run. Other runners emulate his every move, hang on each word and study his technique.

It’s not easy being at the top, not that I know what it’s like but you can just imagine the stress and long hours they put in trying to keep that level of greatness. While I wouldn’t mind having a fraction of the money they make the worry and health issues that goes along with it would be terrible.

Helping out

Maybe it’s the mother in me or the fact I’m not terribly ambitious, but if I am able, I will do it. When I get jobs in my inbox that don’t suit me but I know another writer that might be interested I pass it along. Websites that I find useful, I pass along to others.

There are blogger websites set up for writers to help each other advertise their work. You can do the same thing with a Facebook group, Google+ circle or other sites you frequent. Help your friends by posting a link on your Twitter feed, Facebook page or Google+ stream.

The Internet is a huge place with billions of readers. If we are writing well-written articles and blogs we shouldn’t have a problem with a little competition.

The competition

I read stories that are very similar to mine on a regular basis but most of the time I don’t worry because they aren’t written very well. I’m not trying to say my work is perfect by any stretch of the imagination but I constantly read my competition and analyze their style, structure and content. Reading helps keep us abreast of what is out there as well as helping us improve our own work.

Don’t copy

It may be due to the years of writing classes I’ve taken but to this day I have to write in my own words.

There are websites with free blogs and articles you can post but I never use them. Partly because of SEO ranking (copied stories have poor pagerank) and also because I want my own work on my websites. It's my home, I don't want another person's handwork on my walls.


I don’t want y’all to inundate my email with requests for assistance but if you follow my blogs or comments on social networking sites and I know you well, I’ll help if I can. I often post links to articles and stories on my Twitter feed of writer friends but they have to be good. It is a waste of time as well as making my credibility look bad if I recommend inferior work.

In closing

Good things come back to those who send out good karma. Not everyone believes that but it has worked for me all these years and I will continue to do so.

Don’t step on the little guy on your way to the top, he may bypass you later and remember your actions.

February 1, 2012

Website Spammers

Once you’ve moved up in the world of blogging and have done your marketing properly you start getting all sorts of attention and sometimes you get emails and comments from spammers.

One of the things I love about Blogger is their great filter software that sorts them out. I get an email asking for approval before any suspicious comments are posted. My readers never see them but I get several every week.

What is spam?

Were not talking about the salty canned meat variety. This spam comes in the form of emails or comments usually soliciting a service you don’t want.

I say usually because one man’s spam is another man’s bread and butter. Spam can also be sales people you don't necessarily want to do business with but others welcome.

Examples of spam

Recently I’ve gotten emails telling me my website was difficult to find but with their service I can increase my audience. I must not be too hard to find if they found me.

Others are prostitutes and don’t even bother to find out I’m a woman. The reason I suspect them to be ladies of the night is because their emails say they are looking for a nice man to get to know better. I realize some countries might not know that “Pamela” is a woman’s name but my picture is on my websites. Maybe they are hoping I have a lonely, desperate male assistant.

Most of us have read the emails from Ethiopia telling us we’ve won or inherited a large sum of money and if we give them our bank information they will gladly send it to us. Unfortunately people fall for this one on a regular basis.

I get emails asking me to be their pen pal. While many of these people are probably harmless, in this day and age one can’t be too careful so if I receive a short note in my webmail with little information about the sender, you aren’t going to get a response.

There are many other scams out there but these are the ones I’ve gotten lately.

Should you put your email on your website?

For a long time I didn’t post mine for just this reason and figured if anyone wanted to talk to me they could just post a comment on one of my blogs or articles but I have read in many marketing books as well as online articles that it is a good business practice to give your customers a way of reaching you.

I have gotten a few writing jobs this way so it is a good idea, you just have to be careful who you accept work from since many correspondences are spam. Not all writing offers are legitimate so be sure and check them out before taking the assignment.

Here's a slice of spam you might enjoy.