Monthly Archives: February 2014

What music makes you move?

SONY DSCSitting in front of the computer all day long is a killer. I’ve read some reports that say it can be as devastating to your health as smoking. When I worked with Don at the real estate office, I’d regularly take walks, often meeting up with a walking buddy and head down to the London Bridge, which is a beautiful area to walk, especially this time of year when the weather is ideal for strolling or jogging along the Bridgewater Channel (picture above).

I still manage to get a few walks in down by the channel, but now that my office is located in my home, not so much. At least, not enough to do my health any good.

For Christmas I asked Santa for a jogging trampoline. Reluctantly he gave me one, yet I know he was wondering if they would suffer the same fate as those pricy Zumba CDs, sitting neglected in my closet.

While I am not using the trampoline as often as I should – it’s seen far more use than the Zumba CDs ever got. One reason, I like picking out music that makes me want to move. This digital age gives us better options these days. I visited iTunes and purchased singles that I like rocking to. I ended up with: Old Time Rock and Roll, Jambalaya, I Heard it Through the Grapevine, Footloose, Flashdance…What a Feeling, Bad,Bad Leroy Brown, Proud Mary, Neutron Dance and American Pie.

So now when I take my exercise break, I turn on my iPad, hook up to the Bluetooth speaker, and rock out to my songs – on my jogging trampoline.

Oh, I also close the blinds in my office…so the neighbors don’t see.

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Meeting Fellow Author Nick Russell

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When I first started actively publishing eBooks through Amazon in 2011, I frequented the KDP forum, a place where other Indies congregate. While I met some great people there, I stopped hanging out on the KDP forums over a year ago, wanting to avoid the drama, trolls and negativity that often comes from public forums.

Fortunately, some of the good guys I met over at KDP joined me and others in a private writer’s group, where we exchange ideas without all the drama. It’s a nice comfy place, and we’ve about 80 members. Occasionally we get together for some real life meet ups – and recently I met up with fellow member – Nick Russell and his lovely wife, Terri. Full-Time RVers, they publish the Gypsy Journal, and Nick is a New York Times Bestselling author.

They came to Havasu for the annual Winterblast – an amazing fireworks show put on by The Western Pyrotechnic Association. We met up on Thursday night for dinner at Rod’s Homestead, one of Don’s and my favorite Havasu restaurants. We really enjoyed meeting and visiting with Nick and Terri. Dinner was great too.

If you enjoy the RV life – or dream of escaping in an RV someday, you really need to check out Nick’s site.

Photo taken by Don on his iPhone, left to right: Terri Russell, Bobbi Holmes, Nick Russell

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Valentine’s Day, Love & Loss

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Four years ago today my father-in-law passed away. He was actually my husband’s step-father, but Don’s real dad died when Don was just a little boy, and his mother married Walter a couple of years later. So for Don, Walter was the only dad he really remembered.

Walter was almost 89 when he passed, and my husband and mother-in-law were both with him. It was a totally unexpected passing, despite the age.  Walter was in relatively good health, although he had lost his leg a few years before his death. Walter could be a little grumpy at times, but I always respected the courage and strength he displayed after losing his leg at such an advanced age. He was an inspirational trooper, and I never heard him complain about the leg. He mastered the use of his artificial limb, and when a young woman at his church lost her leg in a motorcycle accident, he gave her emotional support.

It was the kind of death we all hope for – not right away, but when that time ultimately comes, and it eventually does for all of us. Walter had fallen, something that occasionally happens when one wears an artificial leg. My mother-in-law gave us a call – they only lived a couple miles away. Walter was still a bit dizzy when Don arrived so 911 was called.

Walter was chatty with the paramedics, and aside from a change in his complexion’s color, he seemed fine.  The paramedics decided to give him a little oxygen before taking him in to the hospital to be checked out, and when they slipped on the oxygen mask – Walter was gone – as quickly as that. It was a great way for Walter to go, but not so much for Don’s mom, who was not expecting such an abrupt departure.

This year Don and I have decided to reclaim Valentine’s Day – a day to celebrate love, not mourn loss. Don has gently reminded his mother that a better day to commemorate Walter would be on his birthday, not the day he passed.  It’s also a much better time to go to a restaurant, considering the crowds on Valentine’s Day.

I’m not saying we won’t remember Walter today….we will remember him, along with the other Walt (my dad)…and all the other people we’ve loved who are no longer with us.  But, we are not remembering him, or them, because they died, but because we still love them.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Fake Facebook Accounts – Who are you really talking to?

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How many Facebook friends do you have? Have you checked the validity of each one? Are you sure they are who you think they are?

Do you ever wonder if that Facebook friend you are chatting with – sharing little secrets in Facebook’s private message box – is really the person you think she is? Maybe it is your old best friend from high school, and you haven’t seen her for years, but the profile picture is hers, and the other photos on her site look legit – you recognize many of the faces in her photographs. Pictures don’t lie, do they? Plus, she and you share many of the same friends. No scam here. Umm. . . maybe.

Perhaps one of your current Facebook friends has recently sent you a new friend’s request. You accept, because the page looks just like his other one – same name, banner and photos, just without the older posts. You figure he wants to clean up his Facebook account and decided to create a new one, and will eventually delete the original. But he wants YOU as one of his friends – he is keeping YOU when he zaps the old account and flushes some of his former friends. Don’t you feel special? Umm. . . maybe.

This is not a particularly new Facebook identity theft scam, but one many people don’t know about. I’ve had it happen to two friends so far (that I know about). One months ago – and another this morning, which is why I am writing this post.

Here is how it works.

The thieves create a new Facebook account, pretending to be someone else. They steal the other person’s info and photos with a simple cut and paste, and add it to the new page. They even take that person’s banner he or she created.

Then they BLOCK the person they are cloning. This help keeps the person in the dark.

The fake sends off friend requests to friends of the person they are cloning – and/or friends of those friends, hoping to snare someone who hasn’t yet friended that person, yet knows them.

Imagine the possibilities. Intimate chats with people who think you are someone else. Access to private information only shared with friends. Plus other devious stuff you or I can’t even imagine.

So what should we do to protect ourselves? For starters, if you get a friend request from someone who is already a friend, let them know IMMEDIATELY about the new account. If it is a clone, he probably can’t see it. It is  a good idea to contact him by phone or his private email account that you’ve previously verified.  Also, un-friend that fake immediately!  You may even want to block the fake.

And remember, it is not a good idea to share anything – either in a Facebook chat or your Facebook page – that you don’t care if the entire world can see. Because, even if you have your privacy settings to private, there is always a way for someone to share your most intimate Facebook ramblings and photos with the rest of the world.

Don’t forget — if one of your friends is a fake,  that fake can swipe your banner, photos and other info to use in creating a fake account, even if YOUR privacy settings are set at the highest level.

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