Friday, August 31, 2007

PLEASE......stop the madness!!!!!!!

Hidy-ho, friends and neighbors! This is yet another friendly public service announcement!

I know, I know, I've posted a lot of "check this out" and "do this" and "don't do that" lately. I'm sorry, but I just gotta. It's all relevant! It's all for your own good!!!!! ;o)

Anyway, today's helpful hint is, yet again, about those pesky EMAIL FORWARDS! Today, I am taking to task those who hit "forward" without checking their facts first. You know what I'm talking about. Those emails saying such-and-such a network is gonna air such-and-such a program that violates every ethical and moral principle that every sane and pure human being holds dear. The emails saying that Celebrity A has been talking trash about ______________, while Celebrities B and C just donated 10 years' worth of movie-made money to some liberal organization that supports killing infants and small fluffy dogs.

Yes, my sarcastic streak is showing.....but c'mon, guys, enough is enough! Imagine a friend comes up to you and says, "Did you hear about Person XYZ? Well, you'll never guess what he did......"

Do you believe every "fact" whispered into your ear?
Do you rush home, whip up a "fact"-sharing email and fire it away to everyone in your address book?

No. Of course you don't.
Especially not without checking to see if all these "facts" you just heard are true.

And why don't you do that?

Well, because it's called "gossip."

And that, my friends, is all a tell-all, tattletale email forward is. It's gossip. It's telling a story about someone you don't know, with facts you can't verify, all to rile other people's emotions up into a frenzy of email-forwarding busybodiness. When you forward an email like that, you're gossiping. And it isn't pretty.

Especially when other people can, upon receiving your gossip, immediately head over to sites like these to check on whether or not your gossip is true:

Hoax Busters
Truth or Fiction? (thanks for the link, Alisha!)

Sarcasm aside, guys.....please check one of these sites before you hit "forward"! They all have search engines that pick up on key words from that email you want to send on to your friends.

You wouldn't gossip in non-Internet life. Don't be a gossip over email.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

the squeaky nose gets the grease.....or something

The latest on The Epic Adventures of The Chronically Sinusitic (I don't know if the word "sinusitic" actually describes "one who suffers from sinusitis," but I'm gonna say it does because I just made that word up. I think.):

When I saw Dr. A a few weeks ago, and he revealed that I don't need surgery on my nose (?!???!???), I forgot to mention that he also prescribed me something new:


So now, I have my nose spray, which I use once or twice per day, as needed. No, I'm not hooked on it. Chronic sinusitis means that one is constantly sensitive to all sorts of random things. For instance, the moment the weather starts to change (i.e. turn colder), my sinuses close up. One positive thing about this is that my nose is turning into a fairly accurate barometer., I have my nose spray (once or twice daily); I have the ever-amazing nose shower that flushes gunk out (daily); and now I have nose oil, which contains a whole lotta stuff including citric oil (I smell lemony fresh now!), peanut oil, orange peel oil, and "terpinol," which I think is related to terpentine.

Smashing! ;oD

This concludes the lastest episode of The Epic Adventures of The Chronically Sinusitic. Thank you for watching!

Monday, August 27, 2007

procrastination gets a kick in the rear

Today, boys and girls, I'm pointing you in the direction of a place on the web that offers some helpful hints on how to stop procrastinating. If you've been putting off looking up the definition of 'procrastination,' then you've come to the right place: 'Procrastination' means 'putting something off.' 'Not doing something when you know you need to do it.' In other words, ' not gittin' 'er done.'

These people here have some great suggestions on how to turn not gittin' 'er done into 'gittin 'er done. No, I don't always care for their choice of words, but I can live with them. Besides their principles are excellent, and these are their ideas, not mine. I'm not into plagiarism simply to avoid resting my eyes on bad language. ;o)

All of that to say...go check out that link up there. Do an 8-minute dash on something. Git 'er done. I'm gonna go dash something now. :o)

Saturday, August 25, 2007

stay away from tanning / beds

Here are a few things I just read on the website of the The Skin Cancer Foundation. Both of my grandmothers had skin cancer, and I inherited extremely fair skin from both of them, so my risk factor for skin cancer is way high. So I try to use sunscreen and wear protective clothing as much as possible. And keep in mind that tanned skin is damaged skin! I just burn and freckle anyway. ;o)

So here are a few facts I picked up from the site above and thought I would share for educational purposes:

--> More than 90 percent of all skin cancers are caused by sun exposure.

--> A person's risk for skin cancer doubles if he or she has had five or more sunburns.

--> Ultraviolet radiation (UVR) is a proven human carcinogen, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

--> Exposure to tanning beds before age 35 increases melanoma risk by 75 percent.

--> Nearly 30 million people tan indoors in the U.S. annually; 2.3 million of them are teens.

--> On an average day in the U.S., more than 1 million people tan in tanning salons; 70% are Caucasian women aged 16-49.

--> People who use tanning beds are 2.5 times more likely to develop squamous cell carcinoma and 1.5 times more likely to develop basal cell carcinoma.

--> Occasional use of tanning beds almost triples the chances of developing melanoma.

--> New high-pressure sunlamps emit doses of UVR that can be as much as 15 times that of the sun.

--> The indoor tanning industry has an estimated revenue of $5 billion.

--> Up to 90 percent of the visible skin changes commonly attributed to aging are caused by the sun. These changes can be seen as early as in one's 20's.
(I can attest to that! ;o)

The Food and Drug Administration in the USA is starting a new labeling system for sunscreen: The labels will now show the protection factor against UVA as well as UVB. So look for SPF (or SBPF) of 50+ and 3-4 stars when you shop for suncreen!

Friday, August 24, 2007

tune in soon...

....for a report on our trip to the United Kingdom! Yes, in case my previous, late-night post about fermented oj didn't give it away, Ed and I are back from our wonderful vacation to England and Scotland. I'm in the process of journaling about it, and I will post part (if not all, I'm not sure yet) of my reportive ramblings here. So keep your eyes open, laddies!

(In the meantime, I think I've answered all comments.)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

what's really sad... when it's 1 o'clock in the morning, and for some reason you're craving orange juice, and you go to the kitchen, open the fridge, take out the carton of orange juice, pour yourself a glass of that delicious, golden sweetness, raise the glass to your lips, take a big swallow...

...and discover that the orange juice has been quietly fermenting in the fridge while you were away on vacation.

Blech, blech, and triple-blech!

And orange juice gives me heartburn anyway! *grumble*


Sunday, August 12, 2007

out-of-office reply

You have reached I am currently unable to take your call. Please leave your name, number, and a short definition of cheese relating to the meaning of life, and I will get back to you as soon as possible. Thank you for calling!


Friday, August 10, 2007

i am so confused......

So this morning, I had an appointment with Dr. Adler, the premier ear-nose-throat specialist in Chemnitz. He shares his practice with Dr. Kopp, who diagnosed me with chronic sinusitis in February and told me it's time for surgery. But Dr. Adler ist the one who actually does the surgery, and he likes to meet with each patient in person at some point before the surgery takes place. So this was my pre-surgery visit, even though I'm still on the waiting list and the surgery isn't actually scheduled yet.

Well, Dr. A looked at my X-rays, did an ultrasound / visual exam of my sinuses / nose, told me that there is some swelling of the tissues in my sinuses (which I already knew), and pronounced that there's no need for an operation at this time (which floored me) as long as I keep using my nose shower.

I was so surprised that I totally forgot to question him on why his diagnosis is so different from Dr. K's.

But in retrospect, I don't think I need to know. I've decided that, since I've gotten two conflicting opinions here, I'm going to postpone the whole kit-and-caboodle and get a third--deciding--opinion from a doctor in Oklahoma. I'm quite perplexed about the whole thing and really wish that I didn't have to deal with this. But, as we all know, if wishes were equines, I wouldn't have to ride my bicycle everywhere, either.

So there ya have it, folks. Modern medicine strikes again. Strike three, yer out! ;oP

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

destroyed for lack of knowledge

When my parents left the European shores for the Americas, they also left behind a copy of the magazine Gospel Advocate (GA). So I picked it up and read it. Just for the record, this was the first GA I've ever really perused, and I have discovered that I do not agree 100% with what the magazine presented in this particular issue (see issue # below). Or perhaps it's better to say that I don't agree 100% with the methods and the attitudes reflected in some of the authors' writings.

That said, however, I found the following to be accurate, illuminating, and disturbing. The trends which Renfroe (see below) presents in his article are realities of which the church today needs to take note. If we don't, we're in for some rather nasty surprises in the very near future.

"...I can't help wondering, in the midst of the current [technological] craze, if any room is left for God. Do the movers and shakers of the technological revolution have any place for a 2,000-year-old book? Indeed, does anyone even read anymore? In our quest to gain academic prowess through tech savvy, have we failed to instruct regarding the most important knowledge our children will ever need to acquire--the knowledge they need to save their souls (John 8:32; 1. Timothy 2:4)?"

"Parents naturally want their children to succeed, obtain advanced degrees, and secure high-paying jobs believed to ensure not only financial security but also the ever-elusive happiness that evades so many...

"During Old Testament days, parents were to teach their children about God and His marvelous works at every available opportunity (Deuteronomy 6:7; 11:19). Today, some parents are asleep at the proverbial wheel. We clamor for our kids to be in the best schools and taught by highly qualifed professionals. We expect them to play sports--the big three, at least--and would not think of their missing practice. (They might get a scholarship, you know.) But are we failing them where they need us most?

"If we could muster the same enthusiasm toward our children's spiritual education that we do for their secular activities, it would be far less likelly we would see a generation that, in many quarters, is 'destroyed for lack of knowledge' (Hosea 4:6 ASV)..."

--Brandon Renfroe
"21st Century Kids Are Wired"
Gospel Advocate, June 2007, Vol CXLIX, No. 6

Some of my thoughts as I read this:

Why is it so important to us that our children Get A Good Education?

Do we really believe that it's more important for our children to become Christians than it is for them to Get A Good Education?

Are we teaching our children to spend at least as much time studying the holy words of God as they spend studying textbooks written by humans?

We hear kids say, "When I grow up, I wanna be a teacher/rock star/fireman/astronaut/vet/police officer/etc."
We encourage them in these dreams. And rightfully so.
But how much encouragement do we give them in developing a dream that when they grow up, they "wanna be a faithful servant of God"?

I've never heard a kid say, "When I grow up, I wanna be what God wants me to be."
Why is that?

Are we studying the Bible with our kids and worshiping God with them at home? Every day?
Or are we leaving that part up to the "Sunday school teachers"?

When did Sunday morning Bible Class replace parental responsibility?

Renfroe says that we make sure our kids never miss sports practice.
Are we making sure they are present every time the church assembles to worship God?

Are we ourselves present every time our Christian family is together for worship?

Or are we ourselves skipping worship because this or that activity "is only this one time," which just "happens to be" during worship time?

Are we ourselves skipping worship in favor of attending secular activities?

Are we teaching our children to "go to church" because that means they're being good?

Or are we teaching them to be the church because being the church is the only scriptural concept? (After all, where in the Bible do you find the concept of "going to" church?)

Where are our own priorities? Yours and mine?

Is God truly the center of our lives?
The apex?
The only constant reality?

Or are we lying to ourselves?
And are we raising our children on a diet of these holy-seeming lies?

Are we teaching our kids, by our example, that God's word, the Bible, is not binding?

What do you think?

Monday, August 06, 2007

i need to get on the blogball...

...and answer comments and read other people's blogs. Haven't been doing much of either lately. Too much else going on.

In other news, I think I like Nickelback. I keep hearing these songs and liking them and then finding out it's Nickelback. The latest song this has happened with is "If Everyone Cared." Google it, the lyrics are really good.

I like Nickelback. That's so weird. When it comes to Nickel-anything, I thought I was a Nickel-Creek-only kind of girl. ;o)


Saturday, August 04, 2007

art genius

Hey, just thought I'd point everybody in the direction of Phil Hansen, whom I heard of for the first time just today. Really cool art, and I figure he must be a genius the way he creates his pieces. Absolutely amazing.

Check out the link here and be sure to watch the video: Phil Hansen.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

reality is setting in

On Wednesday, my parents boarded their flight from Frankfurt to the U.S. I think I still haven't quite started to process that they have moved to Oklahoma. To them, Germany is home. To *me* Germany is their home, too. That new house that they build is gonna have a pretty solid German cornerstone to live up to.

Another bit of unpleasant reality..... On Wednesday, Ed and I let our landlady know that we are moving out by October 31st. She was really upset to hear this, and I thought she was going to cry. Which made me almost cry. And we haven't even been close to her, though I'd describe our "professional" relationship as a good one. It was still a sad moment, and all three of us agreed that there was no "good" time to break this news. At least she understood our reasons for leaving.

But telling her that we're's just one more step toward making it all seem real.

And I don't like it. I don't want to think about it.


*Addendum: Ed and I have been watching a lot of "Quantum Leap" online lately. At another time, perhaps I'll blog about how much I love this show and how I wish they'd make a movie of it or something. Anyway, I've been trying to figure out why my non-TV-loving self has been wanting to veg out in front of the tube so much recently.

And I think I've figured it out: I'm watching because I'm avoiding. I'm watching because I don't want to think.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

this has *not* been one of those weeks...

...and even so, *twice* in the last five days, I have had to stick my hand down a toilet to retrieve an object that shouldn't be flushed. I wish I could turn this into an amusing blopgost about how everything that could go wrong *has* gone wrong...but other than unexpected double-WC-retrieval, I'm having a good week.

So...sorry for the lack of amusing material. Just picture me standing in the bathroom of the church building, wearing nice clothes, while pitching a fit about having to stick my hand down the toilet to retrieve a hapless toilet bowl freshener. For those who know me personally, this should strike you as rather funny.

(The other incident involved a 1 Euro coin. Just FYI.)



book comments 3

This'll be somewhat general instead of specific to one book. In my effort to decide which books to move with us to Oklahoma and which ones to leave behind, I've been re-reading quite a few novels in order to determine their move-worthiness. So far, I have a pile of about 50 books to give away (I haven't re-read *all* of these, only the ones I really wasn't sure about) and counting.

Included in all the re-reading are all of my Dean Koontz books. Yeah, I've decided to give away a few of his novels...but I find myself keeping most of them. The ones I'm giving away are those to which I haven't had a strong emotional reaction, or those which have left me feeling like this-has-been-done-before. Some of his earlier novels have left me feeling this way, so those are the ones I'm giving away.

I'm keeping all of his later stuff, though, plus a few older ones like "Dark Rivers of the Heart"; "Lightning"; and "Servants of Twilight," to name a few. But his more recent works are the ones I really enjoy. In my opinion, Koontz has been reflecting a great deal of spirituality in his works of the last 6 or 8 (maybe 10) years. Hints of that have always been there, but now he has moved from the hinting stage to pointing directly at the fact that there is something more than this world that we perceive with our physical senses. I highly recommend Koontz to anyone who is looking for serious philosophy and broadening spirituality packaged within the heart-pounding, stay-up-reading-under-the-covers action of an incredibly good read.

As a writer....if I could write like Koontz, I would be satisfied.

Here are some of my favorites of his:

Dark Rivers of the Heart
Mr. Murder
Twilight Eyes
Fear Nothing
From The Corner of His Eye (might be my favorite; this is also the origin of the phrase "brighten the corner where you are," which I consider to be a very Godly concept)
By The Light of the Moon
Odd Thomas