Disclaimer: This weblog contains many tedious and repetitious bits as well as a few gems of useful web lackey info and amusing turns of phrase. It stands as a monument to the need for editing and is a glimpse into a simple but over-tired heart trying to succeed when pitted against the giants of the Internet. Nancy Kamp
January 12, 2007 Ice, Ice, Baby We expect to lose power in the next two days due to an ice storm. I never remember days without utilities when I was growing up in Pennsylvania. Curses on you, oh weather of the Great Plains.
Our Bob attended the inaugural festivities in Harrisburg where our cousin, Patrick Harkins, was sworn into the state senate. Congrats, Pennsylvania! He's one of the good guys.
Pat and a special constituent
PA Capitol and Bob
PA capitol lobby
PA capitol lobby
PA capitol interior
January 14, 2007 Warm and Cozy Kharma We dodged a weather bullet over the weekend. Our power is still on and our tummies are full. But of course, brother Bob's furnace went out. Go figure.
With nothing better to do - except work and taxes, we watched the most immoral movie I've ever seen, "The White Countess." It was slow but engaging, and every single character was immoral to some degree from the Jew who wouldn't confront hecklers to the ... well, you might watch it, so I won't say more.
January 21, 2007 Goodbye, My Friend Dr. Patricia Ferguson is dead.
Several years ago, I became Patty's webmaster. While I posted her career achievements in psychology and writing online, I also got to know the woman who loved her family, enjoyed her art, and had time to care about me and mine.
The Internet has opened us up to new kinds of relationships. I never met Patricia Ferguson in person, but there is a hole in my cyber heart today.
February 1, 2007 Round Up My brain is fried, and I can't keep up. Aaargh! Some of the jumble in my skull:
Taxes, site cleanup continues - it will never end, Velvet Undertow, and stuff I've wanted to write on this page if only I could think of it.
The good news is the final Harry Potter novel is coming out soon, Aunt JR was 97 yesterday, and I have finally started to count my blessings. Who could ask for anything more?
February 11, 2007 Fame It looks like poor Anna Nicole Smith has passed the Empress Theodora of Byzantium to become the most famous stripper of all time.
February 19, 2007: Fingers of Fire My dream: I am writing my autobiography, a chronicle of my years as a low wattage Las Vegas magician, but someone wants to kill me, perhaps because of my super power. I can set things on fire by - you guessed it - pointing my finger at them.
My reality: Not that.
March 11, 2007: March Away I'm pretty sure I don't have a life as defined in popular culture. Obviously, I'm too busy to write much on this page. Last year at this time we were spending our tax refund in Europe, but this year I'm not even close to being ready to file. My office remains a fire trap of too many papers and too much stuff. And our house has enough dust to feed a dust devil (Cary and the CDO saw one 100 feet wide yesterday!) for a good long time. Hey, I haven't watched American Idol since the second show. (I have never voted. Ever.)
There probably isn't much hope for me. The question is, will I pass my lifestyle onto those with whom I interact each day? Aaargh! My dogs are doomed.
March 21, 2007: March Madness It is spring on the prairie. The winds are howling, the dryer is broken (the stupid on-off knob came off and I think I've stripped the post with a wrench), and I wonder if any of the keywords I've used on these pages are worth dog spit. Did I mention two of the dogs ate a hole the size of your head out of the center of the quilt on my bed?
The keyword thing is serious. Could we double our traffic if I had better keywords? I've always just thrown a few in and moved on because I thought content was more important. However, the page ranking of our page about my involvement with Luxe Jewels comes up much lower than other people's Luxe pages - despite the fact that my page isn't an ad, but rather the story of a relationship.
On mulling this over, I've beefed up the keywords on the Luxe page. Now what? Commas? I've never put commas between keywords because Dr. Ralph Wilson said it didn't make a difference to search engines.
And now on a hunch, I click over to his site at wilsonweb.com and sure enough, he is using commas between keywords. Do you realize I'm going to need so many commas, the demand will exceed the supply and will cause world wide comma hoarding. This might not be my day.
April 13, 2007: Pit Free At Last My favorite quote from the Egyptian Book of the Dead contains the phrase "my soul has been freed from the pit." That's how I feel now that all our taxes are e-filed and accepted, stamped and mailed; and the CDO's FAFSA is complete. Wah-big-honkin-hoo!!!!
I still have plenty of papers to organize and next year's tax preparations to begin, but finally I can concentrate on the important stuff like getting the CDO ready for her prom.
Actually, she has everything but a purse since the two I just brought home have been rejected because who knows what fashion neurons lurk in the minds of teenagers? And even though both purses were on sale and one was quite nice, the taxes are done (did I mention that?), and all is well until next year.
April 18, 2007: Morally Corrupt and Twice as Funny I have never been a Will Ferrell fan, but the video about the small child demanding back rent is hysterical. I just hope Pearl's voice is dubbed in.
April 19, 2007: People, have we learned nothing? It's April 19th in Oklahoma, and we remember the Oklahoma City Bombing. Together with the recent murders at Virginia Tech and the daily killings in the Middle East, I despair of the human race.
It's always been fashionable to kill those who don't agree with you and maybe torture them a bit in the process. But what does that say about us? Civilization has given us many blessings, but it has not given us clerics who uniformly and 100% denounce rape and murder. It hasn't stopped bullying and abuse on any level. We don't even glory in the courage of government whistle blowers.
I realize the VT killer was insane and most suicide bombers may well be sociopaths who kill because they enjoy it rather than honestly believing they're going to convert people by terror. I understand you can't reason with whack jobs. But we're all in this together. We can't build the future on a foundation of blood. We're doomed, all of us, if we can't reach out to one another; if we can't at least tolerate the differences between us.
Every one of us who professes sanity and a desire for a better tomorrow has got to speak up now, today, and stop making excuses. Be kind, be helpful, and shoot last, not first. Maybe we can't naively stick a flower in the barrel of every gun, but we can surely clean up our language and our actions. No more teasing. (And don't tell me, "It's just a joke." There's an undercurrent of cruelty in every delicate jab.) No more racist and sexist remarks. No more hate-filled textbooks in any school, any where.
Use your brains and think of a better way to say and do things that isn't going to cause pain to others. Refuse to channel your inner Eric Cartman. Hate humor is not funny when there's blood on the land. And isn't there always blood on the land?
May 11, 2207: Dead Sea Scrolls Last Saturday, we saw fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls at Union Station in Kansas City. The child in our group was more impressed than some of the adults, and I've figured out it's because we tend to become jaded and cynical as we age. Sure, there wasn't any gold or breathtaking artwork discovered next to those ancient texts, but the authors hid them away 2000 years ago when there was (and I know this will be a shock) tension in the Middle East.
photos of Union Station coming soon - really
June 2, 2007: Dogs Ate My Couch An open letter to She Knows Who She Is: When you leave your dog with your parents while you prepare to jet off to China, kindly train that dog NOT TO EAT FURNITURE.
No, I'm not going to publish a picture of our old couch. You don't want to know.
June 8, 2007: Is Paris Incarcerated? Paris Hilton has been in jail, out of jail and back in again since Sunday night - all because of a "medical condition" that may require medication and the care of a shrink. Or not. The judge isn't buying it.
If my kid had been arrested for drunken driving, I believe I'd be more concerned with getting her straightened out than with the unpleasantness she would have to face in the custody of the sheriff. But hey, the rich are different.
June 19, 2007: Happy Juneteenth! I was recently involved in a discussion where the gracious opposition felt she'd proved her point by quoting from a public statement issued by the corporation in contention - not an unbiased third party. The logic of this escaped me, but I let it go at that point.
And what does that have to do with Juneteenth? Not much, but here's to freedom!
July 10, 2007: YouTube Me For the past, two weeks I've been struggling to upload our first video to YouTube. Jane Marie and company made it in Florida and sent it to me on DVD. But the video recorded in three parts, and I can't figure out how to get them together. Aaaarrrgghhh. Stay tuned; the video is very funny and worth waiting for.
July 18, 2007: The Idiot in the Dell™ It doesn't take an instructor in customer service to know when a point of sale needs tweaking. All you have to do is shop with a company big enough to decide it's not cost effective to correct problems that originate from lack of sales training among its staff. In other words, we are unhappy customers of Dell. Here's why:
As our Jill gets ready for her adventure in China, we are going over each item she's got to take with her for need, want and condition. Her old laptop has given her four good years, but we all decided it might not survive her trip, so I ordered my second Dell™ laptop in as many weeks.
Both Jill and I spoke with the sales rep about screen size and decided we should order a 14" screen instead of a 15" because Jill wanted as compact a system as possible. Turns out both screens come in the same size case. We would have been glad to forego the $20 we saved on the smaller screen to make full use of the case size if only we had known this. And since our sales rep worked on commission, she didn't know it either or she would have pointed it out.
When we saw the laptop, we hoped to pay the $20 to get a replacement screen. This was not an option Dell™ could offer because parts of their computers are assembling overseas. We went through six Dell™ customer service agents to discover our choices were send the whole laptop back and hope we could get a new one before Jill's plane leaves or accept $44 as compensation for our time and trouble.
I took the credit yesterday because Jill needs a computer, but the current model is running so slowly (Vista problems???), it may have to go back anyway.
Did I say DVD? That means we can't upload it to YouTube or work with it in any way shape or form until I get my hands on DVD ripper software that won't decide I'm out to defraud someone of their rightful copyright. So far, no good. But sooner or later, we will share this video gem with the world.
August 26, 2007: Patience is Not One of Nancy's Virtues Thanks to Harrison, I now have the complete video, Prose Before Swine, on my computer, but the file is way too big to upload, so we're hosting it right here until it can be edited.
September 11, 2007: Who Can Forget? We're all busy, but no matter how our own lives absorb us, September 11, 2001 shaped the way we view the world. It always will.
And as for that whack job cave dwelling troglodyte and his proclamations, let me say sanity is on our side. If his way of life is so good, sell me on its merits. Make me trade what I believe for a burqa by reasoned argument. Or if logic doesn't work for you, kill more innocents. That would persuade me of the rightness of a bloodstained cause - if I were a sociopath.
October 8, 2007: Phoning It In I don't seem to be keeping up with this page as I should, but that might mean I have a life. Or not.
My friend, Susan Kilpatrick, keeps busy enough for both of us. She opened a real estate office with a focus on home staging for faster and higher return home sales in Oklahoma City's still strong market. And her daughter will be getting married soon. Either one of those things would overwhelm most of us. Not Susan.
Our latest newsletter should be out next week if all goes well. Threaten to hold your breath and turn blue if there is a delay. That's sure to motivate me.
November 5, 2007: Shop Till You Shouldn't The Christmas shopping season opened the day after Halloween for shoppers and even earlier for vendors. We know most people don't have much cash to fritter away this season, and we all want to be your spending spot of choice. But people, enough is enough. There is a lot of junk out there. Don't waste your money on things no one needs like a brushed stainless steel garlic cooker for only $49.95. We've all been tempted by (and yes, succumbed to) slick ad copy and very shiny objects. Stay strong, and make smart choices.
But remember, Hanukkah is only five weeks away!
November 28, 2007: Hairballs We took in a special exhibit of paintings and sculpture by Columbia's Fernando Botero (he's the one who does very fat people and cats) at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. It was both eye-opening and marvelous. I should have been working on this site, but to quote Dilbert's boss, "Sometimes the best you can do is move the hairball to another pocket." Still, every gain ...
December 2007: No time, no words.
Prose Before Swine, the hilarious Goodbye Lie video, is here!
Beauty and the Beach
"Don't believe everything you think." Unknown
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