Monday, December 31, 2007

Ch 2 The Alley Visits

.The Alley Visits

Amanda told Alex about how hard it was for Momma Kitty to find enough food for everyone. Alex asked where she lived. This was a very hard question since Amanda left home early and didn’t keep track of where she was going. Instead of just answering, she started to cry.

“Don’t cry, we’ll find it.”

“You, you’re taking me home?”

She was whimpering because her great adventure was being cut short.

“No, I’m not sending you home. I thought we could go back to get Momma kitty and show her some good places to find food. Then you and I could resume your adventure, if you would permit me to tag along.”

“Oh (sob), ok”

What Amanda didn’t know was that Alex had wanted to strike out on his own but was afraid of going alone. He readily admitted that Amanda was braver than he. But, together they could look out for each other. He went a step further by saying that they would have to look out for each other. He wasn’t going to play the big brother protector because it was obvious that Amanda could look out for herself.


Amanda knew the direction she came from, but that was about it. She and Alex headed that way hoping certain things would look familiar. Alex knew when they were headed correctly because Amanda would smile and point to something she had seen.

I wish momma had come looking for me. It would be so much easier.

Unknown to Amanda, her little sister begged momma to see if she could try to find older sister. She was too young to be on her own. At least that was her youngest one’s opinion. Momma agreed. It shouldn’t be too hard to pick up Amanda’s trail. Each kitty had a scent of their own and momma knew Amanda’s well. They spent a lot of time together foraging. Momma was teaching her kids the art of finding food, starting with the oldest.

“I’ve got a few scraps of food here. This should hold you guys until I return. Big sister couldn’t have gotten too far.”

I hope she didn’t go too far!

“We’re going the right way. I remember that house!”

“How? They all look alike to me.”

“Momma taught me how to recognize things by their smell and that house smells familiar.”

I picked the right partner! No one taught me about smells other than food.

Amanda headed down an alley. It didn’t look familiar, but it smelled right. As she walked over to a garbage can laying on it’s side, a human came out and picked it up. She was trapped!!

Alex had been checking out another garbage can and when he turned around, Amanda was gone! He was about to start yelling when he saw the human. For protection he darted behind some plastic bags. He had heard what humans do with kitties and he wanted nothing to do with them. He hadn’t actually seen any of the horror stories but why take chances?

“Meow! Meow!! (most humans don’t understand kitty language).

“How did you get in there? Here, I’ll let you go. If the boss saw me bring you in I’d be in big trouble. But, before I let you out, let me go get you something to eat. If I let you out first you’ll just run away.”

With that, he put the can down and left. Amanda was scared. What was this human planning on doing? She heard him say something but kitties don’t understand human language either.

What’s going to happen to me? Momma will never find me.”

As Amanda started to cry, the human reached in and picked her up. When he put her down, there was a big pile of cat food!! The human took the can and walked away. She was safe and now had food!! But where was Alex?

“Alex, where are you?”

“I’m here. I thought you were a goner! Wow!! Where did you get all this food?”

“The human gave it to me.”

Both kitties ate as much as they could then carried as much as they could to help them with the rest of their journey. As it turned out, it was a short trip. When Amanda and Alex rounded the corner and headed towards another alley that Amanda said smelled familiar, Alex caught a glimpse of another kitty coming down from the other end.

“Quick Amanda, over here. There’s another kitty coming.”

Amanda’s nose picked up a very familiar scent.

“Momma!!!! You came looking for me!!”

“Momma, I’d like you to meet Alex. He helped me find a lot of food.”

“Pleased to meet you. I can show you where there is a lot of food.”

“Ok, but let’s get Amanda back to her brothers and sisters.”

“Momma, I don’t want to go home. It’s time for me to be out on my own.”

She pleaded with momma and was told that she was right, but first she should go home and explain that she is ok. She let Alex come along. When they got home, all Amanda’s family started asking questions. She assured them that she was ok and introduced Alex to everyone.

After resting for a bit, Momma asked Alex about the food and he said he could take her to the place. From there, Amanda and him would take off on their great adventures.

Next week, Amanda’s adventures start.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Broken Rainbows

Rainbows are, in many ways, special. Your personal rainbow can describe your life. when you are very happy, see the vibrant yellows and pastels? Sadness shows up in the blues. When upset or angry watch the reds sharpen. Your rainbow is the personal aura that surrounds you and is visible to others. Which color do you want them to see?

I have many online friends and I want my vibrant yellows to show through. This is easy since two of my friends, Billie Williams and Marvin Wilson have offered me the pleasure of visiting me on their respective blog tours. Come learn more about Billie's Small Town Secrets on January 7th, and learn more about Owen Fiddler, by Marvin Wilson on January 8th.

Rainbows are fragile, as the following story shows.

Ron

Broken Rainbows

It was a warm, sultry day. I stepped out on the porch to get the mail and it was so muggy I felt like jumping in the shower. It wasn’t real sunny because there were some dark and foreboding clouds on the horizon. I expected rain before long. I decided to get the dishes done and just relax until the storm hit. But what happened next was unprecedented. As I finished washing the bowls I reached over to get the plates to put them in the water when suddenly there was this tremendous THUD out in the street! I ran out to see if anyone was hurt because surely two cars decided to try and occupy the same space at the same time. But what I saw just does not happen all that often.

There was this huge dust cloud trying to settle. I stayed behind the door until it did. And that is when I saw it. There were pieces and shards of rainbows all over the place!! Now you have probably not seen too many rainbows in pieces, but every once in awhile, it happens. Next time you see those big rain clouds, look very closely and you’ll notice that there is a couple of odd shaped ones on the ends. These are the machines that assemble the rainbows. It takes a bit of work so that is why some of the lightening you see looks like it is staying in the clouds. That is the forge heating the special rivets.

But, on rare occasion, a cloud will have all the pieces of the rainbow and all the dust needed for a good storm, but the water isn’t there. You know how fickle those waterspouts are. They go on strike at a moments notice. They only have one job and that is to pull water from the lakes and river and put it in the clouds reservoir. But if some dumb fish gets in the way, they will refuse to get the needed water. Now most of this water comes from the great lakes and some of those fish there get downright stubborn and selfish (or is the shellfish). To make matters worse, there are other little beasties that like to mussel in, most notably the zebra mussels.

That is what happened on this particular day. The wind did its job of blowing a lot of dust and dirt up to the cloud. The rainbow makers came in and made the rainbow sections but before they could put it together they needed the rainbow assembly clouds and had to wait since they were being used elsewhere. The rain cloud was getting heavy and needed to have some water so it could rid itself of the dirt. Unfortunately, the wind was more efficient and put just a tad bit too much up there and the whole thing fell down and the rainbow pieces shattered.

I went out and gathered them up. I knew how to put them together but I had to first run over to the meteorological building to get the rainbow wrench. I went into the house and grabbed a sheet to cover the pieces so they wouldn’t blow away (they weigh nothing, really). It took longer than I expected because I got to the office right after the weatherman left for lunch. So I waited, impatiently, listening to the CD play rhythm of the rain repeatedly. Finally he made it. He dug out the wrench and tried to explain how to use it, but I already knew.

Let me stop here and give the instructions. A rainbow wrench is about a foot wide and a foot and a half long, made from a special plastic. There is a trough at the end where the two pieces of the rainbow sits. Below that are two lights, red and green. When the green light goes on, you take the special suction cup device attached by a line and place it across the two pieces and push a button. This sucks the two pieces together. You have to make sure you only do it when the light is green otherwise the whole rainbow will be lopsided.

The whole rainbow, when assembled only takes up about ten feet of space. Once assembled you have an hour to get it put into the pot of gold that holds it. When you do that, it goes ‘POOF’ and automatically disappears into the distance for everyone to enjoy. But remember; do not ever take any of the gold out of the pot because it is needed to hold the rainbow in place. It will also cause a very angry elf to show up on your doorstep! This guy has been known to turn every blade of grass into dandelions and crabgrass. But if you do it right and set the rainbow free, you get a very green lawn that is totally weed free.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

tours coming up!!

Watch this spot on January 7th for a visit with Billie Williams as we discuss her new book, Small Town Secrets, then make sure this site is bookmarked because on January 8th, we visit with Marvin Wilson and discuss his latest release, Owen Fiddler.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Critters in Paradise

Critters in Paradise

Mama Kitty (she had a name, but had been mama for so long, she forgot it), didn’t want to get up. It didn’t take much to see that it had snowed really hard during the night. But, the steady meowing of her kittens told her it was time to scrounge up some food for them.

“I’m coming kids.”

As she woke up, her senses detected an odd aroma.

Catnip? Where did that come from?

Getting up, she looked around and almost collapsed! There were several dishes of food and half a dozen catnip filled toys. As she looked closer, she discovered more packets of food with a little card attached.

Compliments of Santa Kitty

“Kids, come here, hurry!”

They may have been kittens but it sounded like an army on the march! Food had been scarce lately so the little ones were hungry. But when they saw the bonanza, they stopped cold.

“Mamma, Where did you get all this?”

“I didn’t.”

Just then little sister winks found the catnip mice. But before they could start to play…

“Kids, get over here and eat. This isn’t a normal day so enjoy what bounty we have.”

Christmas does indeed come but once a year, but this year, even the animals were able to celebrate. On the back of the card, Santa Kitty wrote:

“This will be an annual event. Santa Claus has told me that no one can be left out.”

Mamma kitty wasn’t the only animal to discover that Santa Claus and his animal brethren were real. It was turning into a real white winter and the forest animals were having a hard time foraging for dinner.

“Momma, you stored a lot of nuts before winter, why not just go get some of them?”

“I would, but all this white stuff makes it very hard to see where I put them.”

It was a cold winter also. Even if she could have found her storage areas, it would have been difficult to recover. But then Mrs. Squirrel smelled something. She stepped into the other part of their home and was totally amazed. There were piles and piles of nuts and berries. As she started digging through the pile she knocked over something hard.

What’s this?

Scurrying around she found the card.

“Santa kitty”

She turned the card over.

“This is the first of many Christmas visits. I even left a small tool you can use to dig up your storage supply.”

Wow! A Santa just for us non-humans!!!

She rushed back to her sleepy kids to tell them of the surprise but she tripped over something. It was toys specially designed for baby squirrels.

This scene was repeated over and over with every animal in the world. All the furkids would usually get something from their human counterpart, but Santa always left a little something for them. This year and from now on, even the animals that lived outside had their own special Santa’s.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

'Not' is a knotty word

"Did you hear that G sharp in the third bar that I missed?"

Uh, no I didn't and most if not all, of the audience didn't 'not' hear it. But the pianist did. Now he'll practice over and over to ensure it is not missed again!

"Look at that! I did not get that leaf paited right.!"

Uh, looks fine to me. wonder if the artist will try to put a dab of green there to cover up something that only he/she see's.

"Finish that story/book, yet?"

No, but it will be. A writer, like a musician or artist, cannot 'not' write. Once a piece is started, it must, at all costs, be finished. The wastebasket may be overflowing but the story shall be written. That is the nature of the beast. Dishes may not get done for a few days. Meals may be a slice of bread and if the muse has taken a break there may even be two slices with something in the middle. The mind of an artist, audio, visual, or written, is a honeycomb of ideas, but each cell of that honeycomby must have something in it. Each cell must be completely full. No honeycomb is complete until all cells are completely full.

As a writer, I cannot 'not' write. when a story is started, it must be completed. I don't mean just throw some meaningless pile of letters in there. It has to fit, to make the story flow. One wrong word, one missed letter, will destroy the rhythm, the flow. I, like all the other true authors I know (Joyce, Janet, Billie, Barbara (Babs) Williamson-Wood, Pee Wee, Brenda, just to list the top six), have to have the complete picture. What happened? How did it turn out? Did they catch the villian? Did the audience laugh? Does the story work?

That is what an artist is, plain and simple!!

Ron

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The rescue team

The Rescue Team
By Ron Berry
The Rescue Team
By Ron Berry©
Dedication Page

This is the fourth Christmas story and I dedicate it to all my fans of offbeat humor.

The Rescue Team

Dawn beckoned bright and early. Ok, it was noon, but what is time to an out of work beaver?
Carson (he’s the beaver we’re talking about), realized his bank account was running a bit low.
He still had a few sales from his stockpile but most of the animals in his neck of the woods weren’t doing much construction due to the inclement weather.

He staggered out of bed. He didn’t dare hop out because he could go through the floor and this was not a good time to get wet because all of his towels were still in the dryer.


After a hearty breakfast, he wandered into the den.

Time to check email, I guess.



There were the usual ‘enlarge your tail’ and ‘for sharper teeth’ types of junk mail. After cleaning those out, he checked to see if Maxine, his girlfriend had written yet. As he scrolled down he noticed one that looked interesting.

Probably more spam, but might as well find out.

“Help desperately needed” was all the subject said. To make it seem more like spam, the sender was “elves unlimited”. He opened it and hoped it wasn’t some virus carrier.


Wow! This seems like the real thing!

He replied by asking for more details. As he hit the reply button he realized it had come from his aha group (animals helping animals). It must have just come through since there were no other replies to it yet. His answer was quick in coming. Santa Claus was in trouble!!

Usually getting supplies wasn’t a problem. One of the elves would just hitch up the team and fly to wherever the needed materials happened to be. But this year, Santa had tried a new brand of ice creator.


Ok, for those of you that are not aware of this, Santa’s sleigh needs a good run of ice to take off properly. Most everyone is familiar with ice melt, used to get rid of the stuff, but this is an exception. Santa’s usual supplier had reformulated his ice maker crystals. They tested it and it made the ice super slick. But what they didn’t realize was that it also did a number to the runners on the sleigh. In other words, Santa had a flat tire! Actually he had five flat tires! Both runners on the sleigh were bad and the spares were also since they had been sitting on the surface and not hung up like they should be!

It sounds like a simple problem, except for a couple of minor details. First, UPS can’t deliver packages of this size. Second, no human other than a select and limited number of UPS drivers even know where the workshop is! Adding insult to injury, only a special type of wood can be used, and no human outside of the North Pole knows what it is.
There is, however, some good news. All the world’s animals know how to get to the North Pole. Many of the forest animals knew what wood was needed. Carson offered his help. Then he checked his stockpile to see if he had any of the proper material. He didn’t! He knew that his vacation cabin was made out of the correct wood, but the pieces were too small. He decided to put out a call to all the beavers.
Carson headed to the top of his house where the call log was located. To make sure he made a good clean call, he brushed his tail, then situated the log into just the right position.

Slap, Slap, Slap.
What sounds like noise to us is in reality, a beaver’s SOS call. Each beaver has his own call sign and when the other beavers hear it, they know to contact Carson to see what the problem is. Back in his den, the phone lights up. It only takes three calls because they have a special network arrangement. Within fifteen minutes, every beaver in the forest knows what the problem is and how to solve it.

While the beaver clan was gathering wood, Carson got back on the net. (they use wireless connections. Not good to have a lot of high tech stuff sitting in the middle of a lake. As for the electrical power, beavers conceal solar powered generators on top of their homes.) He sent word to the elves that supplies were being piled up as this was being written.

“We’ll send a couple of workers down with Rudolph and Donner. They can bundle it up and fly it back here. Thank you for your help.”

In the time it took to make a cup of coffee, the elves were at the door. Carson invited them in for some hot chocolate and his special homemade cookies. Being a forest animal, Carson knew where to get all the best ingredients. Let me let you readers in on a small secret. There are mice in most company warehouses. Every one knows that. But what most folks don’t know is that they stock up on products and deliver them to the grocery stores hidden in the forests. That way the animals can get the groceries they need.
It didn’t take long for the beavers to gather up the wood. Nor did it take long for the elves to get it bundled up and ready to go. They said their good-byes and headed off to Santa’s workshop. They didn’t have much time before the big man had to make his famous trip. So in an elvian flash, the maintenance crew fashioned new runners and made several spares. These were hung up this time. While they were waiting for the beavers, most of the crew in the garage as well as every other available elf, cleaned up the bad ice and replaced it with new. The ice maker supplier had sent the last of the old mixture and promised to make more.
Santa instructed the elves to create something special for the beavers. They deserved it for all their extra work this year.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The time to HELP is now!

The temperature is falling below zero more days than not. How many people are out in it? I don't mean out shopping, or going to work. I mean how many are out in it, trying to stay warm with no home? How many are scrounging garbage cans for a scrap to eat? If there is one, that is too many! North Dakota is America's ice berg. It's the season of giving. Go to: http://missionsocorro.tripod.com

Why? Because it is the right thing to do. Mission Socorro is like no other charity. Every penny they get goes to help someone. Janet and Ivan Smith founded Mission Socorro on a dime, then gave that dime to the first needy person that showed up. Who are these people? The Smith's are the most generous, kind-hearted people you would ever want to meet. http://missionsocorro.tripod.com was founded by them to help those that need it most and right now, they need help. It is cold, it is the holiday of giving, so give!!

If you can read this, you have a home and a computer. Take the dollar you were about to spend on a cup of coffee and let Janet and Ivan use it to feed someone who doesn't have a home. There are many charities out there, but this one is different, very different. No one who works there gets any compensation, financially. But the satisfaction of seeing a walking icicle transform into a human is beyond words.

http://missionsocorro.tripod.com is in North Dakota. It is a treeless, land of ice as I write this. There is work in the fields in the summer, but in the winter there are no fields to be seen. There are acre after acre of ice however.

Ok, you don't live in the north. I agree with you there are people in need everywhere. Then help someone nearby. What? you don't have a dollar to spare? I can actually understand that. But, you can help in other ways. Volunteer at a soup kitchen. Offer to drive your elderly neighbor to the store, or better yet, you do the shopping and let her/him stay inside where it is warm.

The bottom line here, don't just sit there, get out and help someone!!! Oh, there is one other way you can help. Copy the URL of this blog and pass it on to everyone in your address book! I thank you for your support and http://missionsocorro.tripod.com thanks you. More important, every person who is given even a wee bit of help thanks you.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

It's a classic!

We went to see this group of performers tonight. Let's see, oh yeah, it were ballot, no, ballat, no, ballet!

There was this guy in 19th century Russia that wrote music for swans and peanut breakers. No, wait, not peanut breakers, nut things.

Ok, to get a bit serious now. Tchaikovsky happens to be one of my favorite composers. I also happen to love ballet. We were given tickets to the performance tonight. This was actually their dress rehearsal, but the price was right. Not one thing to regret about this performance!

The Lake Erie Ballet has been putting this on for the past 49 years. It was a fantastic way to use our family time. The movie is good, but to see the Nutcracker performed live just cannot be beat! The only entertainment that is better is a good symphony and if it is a night of Tchaikovsky, it is doubly good.

Granted a few slips were made, but that is what rehearsal is all about. For those that have never seen a ballet, The Nutcracker is a good one to start with. A note for all those macho types out there, this is not a bunch of sissy guys running around in tights. If you think you're strong, try picking up someone else and make it look like she is as light as a feather.

This was a wonderful performance and we all enjoyed it totally.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

It's what's on the inside that counts

It’s what’s on the inside that counts

The title is a Peter, Paul and Mary tune. The action, however, happens someplace else. How often have you heard that it’s not what is on the outside that counts, but it is what is inside that is the heart of the matter. Look at your family, your friends, your enemies. Are they ugly on the outside but have a strong, warm heart that drives them? How about the Strong, dark, handsome man that just went to prison because inside was the opposite of the outer? We can see this, in people. Now, let’s extend that principal.

I went to a cabaret tonight. Ok, that isn’t what it was called, but it was, after a fashion. I saw talent that was smokin’! It opened with an exercise routine. The ones on stage were getting not only themselves warmed up, but they were warming up the audience for what was to follow.

There were soloist’s, duet’s, quartet’s, and even poetry readings. I heard some amazing vocals. All I could mutter was wow!! The drums of Africa were heard. These were folk tunes from a distant continent.

On stage sat four violinists. Jack Benny would have been proud. So would Itzak Perlman. I don’t care if the name is spelled right because I am paying homage not to him, but to the four on stage. Then the stage was bare, but off to the left, a lone piano was sounding. Only a couple of selections were heard from this lone upright, but what pieces!

Up on stage, four were standing. Only one spoke. She told us her thoughts. Standing taller than the rest, one lone writer held the paper in which he was the featured writer. This was followed by poetry, flutes, modern dance and concluded with the choir.

There is one thing I failed to mention. Every one of these performers were under the age of sixteen. Every one of them came from the inner city. This is what can be done when people care enough to give of their time. This is where the hidden talent lay.

The sole writer? Shane Foster, son of Joyce Anthony, a superb writer herself.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

For the holidays

It's not too late to order your beaded jewelry! I have all my styles listed at:
http://joyceanthony.tripod.com/surrealstormcreations/

Short form:

surrealstormcreations.hereweb.com


Get your order in early. Custom creations take up to two days to make!

I am now offering a 10% discount to all who order before Christmas!!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

and your opinion is?

I did not write this, but I feel it worthy of passing on.

Ron

THE LAW IS THE LAW!> >>> I really love this one.> >>> This is one of the better e-mails I have received in a long> >>>time! I hope this makes its way around the USA several times over!!!!!> >>> So Be It!> >>>> >>> THE LAW IS THE LAW> >>>> >>> So if the US government determines that it is against thelaw> >>>for the words 'under God' to be on our money, then,> >>> so be it.> >>>> >>> And if that same government decides that the 'Ten> >>>Commandments'> >>> are not to be used in or on a government installation, then,> >>>so be it.> >>>> >>> I say, 'so be it,' because I would like to be a law abidingUS> >>>citizen.> >>>> >>> I say, 'so be it,' because I would like to think thatsmarter> >>>people than I are in positions to make good decisions.> >>>> >>> I would like to think that those people have the American> >>>public's best interests at heart.> >>> BUT, YOU KNOW WHAT ELSE I'D LIKE?> >>>> >>> Since we can't pray to God, can't Trust in God and cannotpost> >>>His Commandments in Government buildings, I don't believe theGovernment> >>>and its employees should participate in the Easter and Christmas> >>>celebrations which honor the God that our government is eliminatingfrom> >>>many facets of American life.> >>>> >>> I'd like my mail delivered on Christmas, Good Friday,> >>>Thanksgiving & Easter. After all, it's just another day.> >>>> >>> I'd like the ' US Supreme Court to be in session onChristmas,> >>>Good Friday, Thanksgiving & Easter as well as Sundays.' After all, it's> >>>just another day.> >>>> >>> I'd like the Senate and the House of Representatives to not> >>>have to worry about getting home for the 'Christmas Break.' After all> >>>it's just another day.> >>>> >>> I'm thinking that a lot of my taxpayer dollars could besaved,> >>>if all government offices & services would work on Christmas, GoodFriday> >>>& Easter. It shouldn't cost any overtime since those would be just like> >>>any other day of the week to a government that is trying to be> >>>'politically correct.'> >>> In fact....> >>>> >>> I think that our government should work on Sundays(initially> >>>set aside for worshipping God...) because, after all, our governmentsays> >>>that it should be just another day....> >>> What do you all think????> >>>> >>> If this idea gets to enough people, maybe our elected> >>>officials will stop giving in to the 'minority opinions' and begin,once> >>>again, to represent the 'majority' of ALL of the American people.> >>> SO BE IT...........> >>>> >>> Please Dear Lord,> >>> Give us the help needed to keep you in our country!> >>> 'Amen' and 'Amen'> >>> Touche!> >>>> >>> These are definitely things I never thought about but fromnow> >>>on, I will be sure to question those in government who support these> >>>changes.> >>>> >>> At the top, it says 'I hope this makes its way around theUSA> >>>several times over!!!!!'> >>> Let's see that it does.> >>>> >>>

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Reflection

Christmas is here. So, what does that really mean?

Is it gimme gimme all the toys and things we really want?
Is it Here these THINGS are for you?

NO!!! That is the commercialized version.

Is it a birthday? No, not really although we celebrate it as such.

So what is Christmas really?

It is the proverbial yearly kick in the butt to tell us to treat others more kindly. It is our yearly reminder to seek peace on earth. For one day a year, people know kindness. By the end of the second football game, we seem to slip back to our old habits of forgetting the homeless. Why give money to the poor? It's enough to get another six pack. Why help others? Where were they when I got picked up for DUI?

Christmas is the day to reflect and remind us that we should celebrate the tenets of the holiday every day of the year. We need to feed the hungry, clothe and house the homeless, pay homage to the vets, love our family and friends, and treat everyone with respect.

Why?

Because there but for the grace of God, go we.

Ron

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Hoppin' Snowshoes, Santa!!

Winter is coming! I'm hearing the words about the snow. But, I'm hearing it from people sitting inside a warm home. If you want to feel even warmer, grab your copy of A Lumberjack Christmas Revisited by Janet Elaine Smith.

Compared to Sawbill Landing, you are in the tropics!! I don't care if you live in International Falls, your place is warmer than in the logging camp!

What!!?? You don't have a copy of A Lumberjack Christmas? Get it! It's too cold to go out? That is not an excuse, go to Amazon.com. Tell everyone you want an early Christmas present. Ask for all 17 of Janet's books.

You've read my post about gunpowder. We are living in a world lost to us. Let's bring back reality. Start with ordering a copy of Joyce A. Anthony's book Storm. Read it, then you tell me if it is fiction or true. Let me rephrase that. I actually dare you to read it and tell me it isn't the future!!

Ron

Friday, November 30, 2007

Et Tu Fruitcake

Caught your attention? Good! Because what I have to say is very important!

Ok, So it's only important to my bank account, but still...

You've read my previous post.

What!!!!????? You haven't??? Stop reading this and scroll down to what I said yesterday!!

Done? Ok, you've bought all the books now right? You've made some authors very happy. Now it's my turn. Let's get on with todays post.

Ok, I understand. You went in, bought all the books and broke your computer, right? Well, you've come to the right place. Check out: http://lowcostcomputerhelp.tripod.com
My prices are better than the geek squad and you don't have to go out and freeze your santa hat off! You can just fix most problems online, I don't care how little you know about a computer. If you can read this, you can fix it, with a bit of help from: http://lowcostcomputerhelp.tripod.com

Ok, that's fixed. Now let's put some beauty in your life. http://berryssurrealboutique.tripod.com
That, my friend is your source for the most unique jewelry on the net!! Tell me your favorite colors and I'll custom make one. These pieces are not 'ordered', they are 'commissioned'. So when your friends, family and neighbors see it, you can brag that you commissioned the design and construction of your latest necklace! Just send them to: http://berryssurrealboutique.tripod.com

Awww, I understand. You're having a bad day. Go to: http://insannity-inc.tripod.com for your laugh for the day. Click on the link whosonfirst, to learn about the baseball team. It takes time to load, so be patient. I will even write short humorous stories on commision. http://insannity-inc.tripod.com

SALE!!! SALE!!!! I have a pdf called Christmas's Near Miss for sale for $1.00. This is a great tale for the entire family. See how Santa loses then saves the day with help from someone very special. Just put a dollar in my paypal account: rainbow@velocity.net and send me an email with the email address to send the file. You'll love it!

I also have a site for critters that have crossed the rainbow bridge. Send me a pic and bit of history and I'll add yours. http://furfamilyforever.tripod.com

This site costs nothing, asks nothing but could save a loved one, a friend or a family.
http://wings4help.tripod.com

Missed one of my sites? They are altogether here. http://here-it-is.tripod.com/

Visit all, buy often!!!

Thank you

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Christmas Specials!!

Let me say up front that what I am about to show you may or may not be on sale. But, each and every one of these is a must for your Christmas list!! I'll start with giving you a place to check them out.
http://berrysreviews.tripod.com/

Having said that, let me give you a rundown of what you will find on that site. On top is Joyce Anthony. Her book, Storm, will keep you riveted to your seat. Is it a true story? You tell me. Check it out at: http://joyceanthony.tripod.com
She also has a blog that can't be beat! Think you're good enough to get an interview posted? Check her blog, then contact her.
http://joyceanthony.tripod.com/blog

I'm not going to list all of Janet's books, You'll see them on my review site, http://berrysreviews.tripod.com/. But I guarantee each and every one of these books is a fantastic read. Want time travel? She has it. Want to visit Scotland? Her Keith trilogy will take you there. Ever been to Argentina? Pampas will leave you with a desire to visit. Remember the Civil War? You ain't seen history like Phebe has! How about a good mystery? Those are there also. You liked Charles Dickens Christmas Carol? That will be in third place after you read A Christmas Dream and A lumberjack Christmas. Pick up a glass of water and sit back and relive the flood of North Dakota as seen through the eyes of those who were there. If any of these interest you, check them out on my review site, http://berrysreviews.tripod.com/. You can check out the Amazing Janet Elaine Smith at:
http://www.janetelainesmith.com
http://janetesmithstarbooks.tripod.com
http://characters-welcome-websites.tripod.com
http://meetmondayknight.tripod.com
http://crumbycapers.tripod.com


Like a good contemporary mystery? Read Inner Trappings by Barbara Williamson-Wood. Her reviews are also on my site. This young lady is a writers writer. She has been the inspiration for many that have followed her. Stop by Amazon.com and pick up your copies of her books today. These are great reads for those long, cold nights.

How were your high school years? Feel like reliving them? Feel the romance and the tensions of the teenage years all over again with Joyce Scarborough's True Blue Forever and Different Roads. Again, check my review site for more information or visit Joyce's sites:
http://www.authorsden.com/joycelscarbrough1 Joyce's Blog: http://joycescarbrough.blogspot.com

The best books on the market come from Star Publishing. That's because the owner, Krisitie Maguire won't publish just anything. If it is not top quality, it doesn't make it at Star. She is also a first rate author. Learn more about her at starpublish.com or visit http://berrysreviews.tripod.com/.

Historical fiction that is accurate is hard to do. It's even harder when the perspective is absolutely not what you would expect! Peggy Bell has put a twist on the Civil War with Fixin' Things. Visit her website at: http://peggyullmanbell.com and check out her ancient history books.

It's winter time!! Let's warm up by taking a trip to Texas and see how the Ocotillo blooms. Linde LaRoque takes us down the dusty roads to a ranch unlike any you have ever seen! Visit my review site for more insight into How the Ocotillo Blooms. http://berrysreviews.tripod.com/.

Remember World War II? Anita Bloom Ornoff does. She went Beyond Dancing in her memories. Visit http://berrysreviews.tripod.com/ to read just how far beyone dancing she went. Learn what the WAAC was really like. We were fighting against discrimination overseas, but look how much we had here at home!!

Speaking of romance, stop over to West Virginia and visit The Kahills of Willow Walk by Sylvia K.Hamilton. This girl puts you in the mood to start wearing designer clothes! Check the review on http://berrysreviews.tripod.com/ and also visit her sites: http://willow-walk.tripod.com www.skhamilton.com

Sherlock Holmes was a good detcctive and his biographer, Doctor Watson was good. But they don't hold a candle to Billie Williams! By the time you figure out who the bad guy is, you've finished the book! Don't worry, go to Amazon.com and order more. This girl puts the dagger in cloak and dagger. Read what her book is all about on the review site, http://berrysreviews.tripod.com/

The Perfect Candidate isn't a book, yet, but it should be!! Tricia Ballad knows how to tie romance and office politics together. Check her out, this is one great read!

Now we are down to the point of reality. Do you trust your doctor? Your pharmacist? How sure are you that someone in your family or your friends are not hooked on one of the most lethal drugs available. Fatal Addiction will open your eyes and scare the pants off of you. But it is a most important read. Stop by the review site http://berrysreviews.tripod.com/ for more information.

Romance is in the air. No, wait, that's marijuana. That's where it started, but where it ended up was much worse! Marvin Wilson explains how easy it is to go from bad to much worse, in I Romanced the Stone! Check out this: www.rockofallages.com. If you believe that one taste won't hurt, Read I Romanced the Stone, or Fatal Addiction.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Wake up and smell the gunpowder

Madeline Ohare is gone. Gather up your friends, neighbors, any and everyone you can get, and get a petition started to get prayers back in school. No, praying for students in not mandatory, but by gosh it should sure be available without some idiot saying they are wrong!!! While you are out campaigning for this, add it is time to take back our kids!

We have been so protective of kids that disipline is totally gone. Look wrong at a child and your ass is in the local lockup. The kids know this and use it to their advantage. So much so that we've had Columbine, and how many other school shootings? We as parents are the minority, the oppressed ones.

By constitutional law we are allowed to have guns. That does not give our undisiplined offspring the right to settle their disputes with them. We live in a materialistic world. It's gimme gimme all over the stores. What happened to family values?

Will putting God back in school solve this? No, but it is a start. Revisit the laws of abuse and get realistic. Yes, there is a lot of it, but look who does most of it. We have had generations of overprotected kids to the point that parents really have no control. The kid wants, the kid gets. This is flat out wrong!

We are adults. Let's act like it! We need a return to good manners, respect, and some form of belief in a higher power. We are now living in a nation of anarchy. Wake up people, smell the gunpowder!!!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

It's Christmas gift time

It's time to start that great holiday tradition of buying gifts for your loved ones. What greater gift can there be besides a custom ordered beaded necklace?
http://berryssurrealboutique.tripod.com

I make these and the proceeds are used so I can buy my family gifts. This is my income, the kids need shoes, check out:
http://berryssurrealboutique.tripod.com

Ok, so it won't be shoes, but a tree with nothing under it is the saddest sight in the world. Please stop by
http://berryssurrealboutique.tripod.com
and order yours today. My family will be forever grateful. I can make necklaces to order (withing obvious limits).

http://berryssurrealboutique.tripod.com

Thank you

Ron

Friday, November 23, 2007

Lovely hands

Abuse, in any form is unacceptable!! The following is from Karina Fabian. There will be a copy also on the wings website: http://wings4help.tripod.com

Please take the time to read and visit wings4help.

Thank you

ron

Lovely Hands
by
Karina L. Fabian



SLAP!
“Shut up! Will you just shut up?!”
I could hear myself shouting, could feel the sting as I slapped my 3-year old again and again, yet somehow, it didn’t register that it was me. All that registered was a blinding rage. Why couldn’t he just cooperate? Just once! When I have so much to do and no help, not from anyone, not from him, not from my husband. For better or worse? Or was it better or work? Barry can’t come home at a reasonable hour, no, and he is no help, no help and neither is Tony and all I want to do is get these groceries bought and get home. Why can’t he cooperate? Why can’t he just help? Why? Why can’t Tony just sit still in the cart, just quiet? Just once?!
“Stop whining! Just shut up!”
I raised my hand again. Someone grabbed it. I stopped mid-sentence, mid-rage. Anger had given me tunnel vision. I didn’t see my son. I didn’t see the other shoppers. All I saw was my hand being held by a man with blue-blue eyes.
“I couldn’t help noticing what lovely hands you have.”
“What?” Was he nuts? I tried to pull out of his grasp, but he held me firmly--yet somehow gently, too. All I could do was stare as he turned my hand over in his.
“Yes,” he murmured, “such lovely hands. Hands for nurturing a child, not hurting him.” And his eyes pleaded with mine.
I didn’t know what to say. I had to get out of there, away from those eyes... I scooped up Tony and fled, pushing past the crowd that had gathered, trying not to feel their hawk-eyes on me, hooded, judging. Pleading. I had to escape those pleading blue eyes.
Tony’s cries were whimpers by the time I’d packed him into his carseat and climbed behind the wheel. I tried to wipe his nose with a tissue. He flinched.
I wanted to hold him. I wanted to cry. I couldn’t move.
“I’m sorry, baby,” I finally whispered and started the car.
At the stoplight, I looked at my hands, forcing them to unclench the steering wheel. Lovely? Nurturing? He was crazy. They’re veined and too thin. The knuckles stick out. The polish was too bight, just like Mom’s. Bright red.
Blood red.
When I think of Mom, I always remember her hands, how they could punch yarn to make a rug with such precision. How they found the smooth of my cheek with equal precision. What was it Mom always said? Don’t need a rod; the back of my hand’ll do just fine. Suddenly, I could hear her voice. Just shut up! Stop your whining! I could see the rage twist her face, her hand raised, those blood-red nails.
I wanted to be good, but by then, it was too late.
Those nails, bright red.
Blood red--
HONK! The blaring of a horn jerked me out of my dark reverie. The man behind me had his window down and was leaning out of it yelling and shaking his fist.
“Hey, lady! Wake up!”
The light was green. Shaken, I raised my hand to flip him off--
--“Such lovely hands...”--
--but gave him an embarrassed wave instead.
Tony’s sniffles had turned to snores by the time we got home. I carried him carefully upstairs and laid him on his bed. He let out a shaky sigh.
My poor, sweet baby.
I caressed his hair, soft and cut short for the summer. It seemed like forever since I’d just caressed him. When he was an infant, I used to sit with him for hours, just rocking him and stroking his peach-fuzz head. I used to sit by his cradle at night, listening to him breathe, so afraid that something would happen. Those first steps; I set pillows around the coffee table because I didn't want him to hurt his little face. He’s only 3. Was it really so long ago?
I caressed his cheek. There were no red marks. This time. I remembered my own childhood--the excuses, the sweaters in the summertime.
An old lullaby drifted in my head
Where they can be petted
And polished and fed
And carefully kissed---[1]
Again, I saw those blue-blue eyes from the store. “Hands for nurturing a child, not hurting him. Such lovely hands.”
Were my hands ever lovely? Barry used to think so. The first time he’d come to our house and seen the piano, he’d begged me to play.
“I’m not very good,” I’d demurred, shyly, when my mother cut me off.
“We stopped her lessons ages ago. She wouldn’t practice so why put out good money?” she’d said, and I couldn’t argue. I’d hated scales and exercises my teacher forced up on me each week, and whenever I’d gone to the piano just to play, picking through a song of my choosing, my mother would yell at me to stop making noise and just practice. I had defied her once. She’d slammed the keyboard shut, just missing my fingers.
“I don’t play,” I’d told Barry. “I just made noise.”
On our first anniversary, he’d surprised me with a used upright he found in the classifieds--and lessons. “You have such strong beautiful hands,” he’d said. “I’m sure you can make beautiful music. I’m betting you just needed to be older and maybe have a more patient teacher. Maybe, when we have kids, you can teach them.”
Today, as I was trying to clean the kitchen from the dishes Barry left--he’s supposed to put them in the dishwasher! It takes 5 minutes if it’s done right away!--and wipe up the mess of oatmeal and jelly Tony left on the wall, Tony had wandered into the living room and plunked himself at the piano. And I ran over and slammed the keyboard shut just as his jellied hands went for the keys. Had I even thought I might catch his little fingers in the process?
I clenched my hands into a fist, pressed them to my lips to keep from sobbing aloud. I could feel the design of the mother’s ring digging into my lower lip. Barry had given it to me the day Tony was born. “You’re going to be such a great mom,” he’d whispered as he kissed first me, then Tony. I pressed harder.
Spare the rod... Don’t need a rod when my hand’ll do...Hands for nurturing... Such lovely hands...A more patient teacher…
How long I sat there, I don’t know. When I could get up, my knees felt stiff and wobbly and I had to hold tightly to the banister as I went downstairs. I looked at the piano, jelly on the bench form where he’d climbed up. I tried to imagine him there (clean handed) banging away at the keys, smiling beatifically. Then later, older, working through a song his face furrowed in concentration. Me next to him, guiding him gently with lovely hands.
God, I wanted that.
I sat down for a moment, getting jelly on my jeans and indulging in the sweetness of that dream. I was not my mother. I never wanted to be like her.
I didn’t have to be like her, but I knew now I couldn’t change myself. Not alone. I needed another teacher.
I rose from the piano, heaved a deep, cleansing sigh and headed to the study. My hands trembled as I flipped through the phone book, found the number and dialed.
When the lady answered, I could no longer hold back my tears.
“Yes, I... I want to stop hurting my baby.”


In 2002, an estimated 896,000 children suffered abuse or neglect at the hand of their caregivers, according to the National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect. A 1987 study predicted that one third of people abused as children become abusers themselves. Research also shows that parents can break the cycle with help. If you find yourself part of this cycle, get help. Look for local support groups in the Yellow Pages under Abuse or call Childhelp at 1-800-422-4453.
[1] From “If Babies Were Birdies” by Janeen Brady (@1988 Janeen Brady, Brite Music)
reprinted with permission

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Here it is, at last!!

Finally, a one stop place to do all your Christmas shopping! It's a simple site, but the links take you into some of the best worlds available! There are links to the most fantastic books by the greatest of authors. No, there's no Stephen King or danielle Steele. Anybody can get those at Walmart. The authors on this site are the elite, the cream of the crop. There are books here that belong in every library at home.
http://here-it-is.tripod.com/
Check out Joyce Anthony's Storm - This book will keep you glued to your seat and when you finish it, wonder if it is a story, or a prediction.
http://here-it-is.tripod.com/
Christmas is here. Pick up A Christmas Dream or A lumberjack Christmas by Janet Elaine Smith. She is the modern day Charles Dickens. After reading just one of her titles, you'll want all 17 books she's written.
http://here-it-is.tripod.com/
Like a good mystery? Check out Barbara Williamson-Wood. Read this one with the lights on.
For a good murder mystery, read Billie Williams
http://here-it-is.tripod.com/
How about a family drama? S. K. Hamilton will treat you to the adventures of the Kahill clan. The Walton's can't hold a candle to them.
http://here-it-is.tripod.com/
Remember your high school years? Check out Joyce Scarborough. She will take you back to both the good and rough memories.
http://here-it-is.tripod.com/
Ready for just plain romance? Check out Kristie Leigh MaGuire.
It's winter, check out this hot Texas writer, Linda LaRoque
How about office romance's? Read Tricia Ballads books
Want some interesting history?
Check Peggy Bell's books.
How about something to do with overcoming adversity?
You'll love Anita Bloom Ornoff

http://here-it-is.tripod.com/
Want to really surprise that little woman in your life? Or even that manly man. Check out the boutique.
http://here-it-is.tripod.com/
You are having computer problems? I can fix that!

http://here-it-is.tripod.com/

Monday, November 12, 2007

Christmas is coming

Christmas is almost here. Now is the time to order your custom jewelry, special story, or get your computer ready for all those incoming cards, letters and family photos.

Visit:

http://berryssurrealboutique.tripod.com
http://insannity-inc.tripod.com
http://lowcostcomputerhelp.tripod.com

Ron

Sunday, October 28, 2007

writing is easy

Writing is easy. Ask anyone who visits a bookstore. In fact, it’s so easy that many people think they can do it better. How hard can it be? You sit down at a computer and just type away. No boss telling you what to do. If you want a drink or a break, you take one. You don’t even have to worry if things are spelled correctly because you have spell check. Then you send it to an agent who makes sure the book gets printed and into the stores. In the meantime you’re living easy on the advance check. Now all you have to do is sit back and wait for the money to roll in. Yep, writing is easy.

Now, let’s talk to a writer. The writing of the book is the easy and fun part. Then you have to either edit it yourself or pay someone to do it because spell check doesn’t catch it all and grammar is even harder to catch. Then you have to send off dozens of query letters to agents to find one that may look at your manuscript. Advance? Hah! Only the big name writers get that. All too often a writer either gives up, or goes POD, or Print On Demand. This is the latest in self-publishing. This ends the easy part of a writer’s life. Now it’s time to start promoting. Yes, the author does the promoting. If you are very lucky you may find an agent or publishing house that will do this legwork, but it’s doubtful.

You buy or make business cards. You develop a website and/or blog. You put a signature line on email. You make brochures and pass them out along with your business card to everyone you see. You may even have to call the bookstores yourself.

This is not a 9 to 5 job. You spend as much time as you can doing the promotion. Only office people get to be fortunate to have forty-hour weeks. When you’re not promoting, you are off doing the article writing or whatever writing jobs you can find, just to earn a living. As for the royalty checks, well, maybe you will be one of the lucky ones that earns a three figure check twice a year.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Christmas is coming

Get your unique beaded jewelry at: http://berryssurrealboutique.tripod.com. For all those readers in the famiy, check out http://berrysreviews.tripod.com/ for some of the best books on the market.

Joyce A. Anthony 'Storm'
Janet Elaine Smith 17 titles to choose from, all are great
Barbara Williamson-Wood 'Inner Trappings', 'Through my eyes'
Joyce Scarborough 'Different Roads', 'True Blue Forever'
Peggy Ullman Bell 'Fixin' Things'
Linda LaRoque 'When the Ocotillo Blooms'
Anita Bloom Ornoff 'Beyond Dancing'
Sylvia K. Hamilton 'The Kahills of Willow Walk'

Hurry while supplies last. These will go fast.

Ron

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

My long, strange road to becoming a published novelist (Part VI)—By Mark Terence Chapman

My long, strange road to becoming a published novelist (Part VI)—Ron Berry
By Mark Terence Chapman

(This entry is a continuation of one on author Karina Fabian’s blog. Click here to return to Part V.)

Finishing the story was only the beginning. I edited and polished and fleshed out that manuscript through ten drafts, each one presumably better than the last, for the next four years, lengthening the story to as much as 109,000 words before eventually stripping out a few large chunks that I felt slowed the pace of the story too much. The final result, tentatively titled Tesserene, was 102,000 words long.

Between drafts, I decided to work on a second novel, a sort of prequel to the first. (“Sort of” in the sense that it was set in the same fictional universe, nine years earlier, but with different characters.) So, in 2004, I wrote Lichen or Not (working title), about a na├»ve youth, fresh out of college, going to Mars for his first job as a geologist. Because of my experience in writing Tesserene and the drafts that followed, the first draft of Lichen started out in much better shape (about equivalent in quality to the 4th or 5th draft of Tesserene).

For the rest of 2004 and into 2005, I continued to edit and polish both Tesserene and Lichen. Then I had an idea for a third book in the series that would tie together the characters and events of the first two, to make them a true trilogy, rather than stand-alone books. So I began work on Reunion (set five years after Tesserene). After nearly 50,000 words, it dawned on me that it probably didn’t make sense to write a third book in a series until I sold at least one of the first two. I stopped writing and continued editing/polishing the first two books. I also wrote a second children’s picture book, called Marvin the Marvelous Mole Man, about a boy who is self-conscious about the mole on the end of his nose.

(During this time, an editor who’d stumbled across my old OS/2 book contacted me about ghost-writing some chapters of a book he was compiling about IBM server technology. I agreed and ended up writing Chapters 2, 4, and 7 of Exploring IBM Server & Storage Technology, 6th Edition, from Maximum Press.)

In 2006, I started work on my next book. This book is a great example of how inspiration can strike at the oddest times, and in the strangest ways. To find out how one word inspired a novel, click here to read the next segment of the story, on author KS Augustin’s blog.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The reason we age

We are always hearing about the age of reason, but no one mentions the reason of age. Granted that we have little choice in growing old, but is that all we do, or really want to do? Do we really ‘dumb down’ as we approach our more senior years? Let’s walk through this process a bit. See how much of yourself is reflected here.

As we exit our primary years of school we decide that is enough late night cramming. It’s time to turn all that knowledge into a paycheck. For some it works, but all too often the reality of life puts a brick in our shorts and shows us just how little we truly have learned. Tis a painful lesson but it becomes all too apparent that we really do need to spend more late nights cramming more useless information into an already full head. Where will it all go? It’s obvious that we have to take from two to twelve, or more years of our lives to cram more useless facts in so that we can spend the rest of our lives using a fraction of this information to earn a decent paycheck.

Guess what? Those two to twelve plus years are not the end of it! You spend the rest of your life learning. This is commonly referred to as the school of hard knocks and your education here is the most critical and the most amazing. Let’s jump ahead to your mid twenties and see what’s changed.

If you are the average American college student, you have learned how to party. You may have even learned a few shortcuts to getting class work done. But, outside of class I imagine you’ve learned much more than you realized. It is cheaper to buy frozen pizza instead of having them delivered all the time. Gas is expensive, but walking is cheap. You’ve learned practical instead of extravagant. These are important lessons that will carry you through the rest of your life. However, as your income grows, your memory of these early lessons decrease.

You made it! You graduated and now you’re an engineer (lawyer, doctor, whatever). You’ve even found a job. The money bucket is overflowing! The first thing that typically happens is the lessons of practicality disappear. Even the first bill for student aid loans doesn’t throw you. You are on your way to middle and upper class! It’s time to look for a mate (although many find these as part of the college program. It’s called love and marriage 101. No books required but they should be. This new education soon coins another set of lessons for which an entire set of books has been written and none of them are right. It’s called children. You learn by doing.) Let’s skip ahead a bit; in fact, we’ll go all the way to ‘middle age’. You’ve turned 45.

Your first marriage didn’t work out? Aww, that’s too bad, but that’s life. You’ve paid off most of your school loans but now you have alimony and child support? Or maybe you’re the one getting the alimony and child support in which case it’s never enough. It’s time to revisit the frugality lessons again. I can buy x number of boxes of mac and cheese with this much money if I put the phone bill off for just one more week. Do you buy your groceries late at night so no one sees you stocking up on macaroni and cheese and frozen pizzas? How often do you look at your co-workers and wonder how many are in the same boat? You’ve learned the reality of life. One more stop on our trip through life.

Retirement is just around the corner. You finally paid the last of the child support and the ex remarried so the alimony stops. From the other side, no more payments coming in, but that’s ok, your job pays well now. It’s time to see what lessons have been learned throughout this journey.

You’ve had kids and grandkids. Where did you get the most enjoyment? Did buying that new car make you happier than seeing the look on your child’s face when you went to his first band concert? Your living room now displays a wall-sized television. Which would you rather watch, that or your grandchildren getting covered in ice cream and cake on their faces, hands, and everywhere else. Did the money you earned buy you happiness or were the smiles of those around you more priceless? You can now answer all those questions you asked your parents and grandparents. How come the sky is blue and why are dandelions called weeds? These and the other questions of youth have two answers, the real one, and the grandparents one.

This is the reason we age.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Stop the Slaughter

Stop the Slaughter

Returning home from a routine trip to the library on Friday, July 13, 2007. I found one of my beloved cats lying on the floor in a pool of blood, her tiny body wracked with convulsions. Checking on the others, I found two more unable to stand, their legs too shaky to hold their bodies, their bodies trembling fiercely.

Wrapping these three in towels, we headed for the Pet Emergency Hospital, where one of the first questions was whether I had recently given the cats a flea treatment—I had, that very afternoon. The next quest: “Was it Hartz?” Again, my answer was yes. This was my first year using this particular brand.

When I left the hospital that night, it was without my three cats. They were too far gone to make it through. I left with instructions to bathe the remaining four and watch them closely. I followed this. They were quiet and nervous that night. By the next morning, another cat was in full-blown seizures and the other three were blinking rapidly and jerking, their muscles starting to be affected. Another trip to the Pet Hospital. When I left this time, one more of my babies was gone and the other three had been admitted. I was scared they would not make it. These three did come home. They survived physically, but my heart goes out to them as they wander through the house crying for those who are gone.

The look on the vet’s face got me thinking and I started to research. This was not the first tragedy caused by Hartz flea treatment. Cats have been dying from this product for years---yet the product remains on store shelves. Unsuspecting consumers, wanting to protect their pets and trusting the Hartz name buy and use it—sometimes it is fine, all too often it ends in tragedy.

I am asking you today to take a stand with me and demand that Hartz remove their flea treatment for cats from the shelves. Hartz knows the danger, they are aware of the record, yet they continue—this slaughter must stop!!

The warning on the box states simply the product should not be used on cats under five pound, pregnant or ill. None of my seven fell into any of those categories—all were over five pounds, five over ten pounds. None were pregnant. All were healthy. The youngest was just over two years old and the oldest six—not kittens. Yet EVERY SINGLE ONE had a reaction!!!

How can you take a stand? The first step is to make a copy of this letter and post it anywhere and everywhere you can. Let people know the danger of this product. Next, contact Hartz at:
Consumer Relations DepartmentThe Hartz Mountain Corporation400 Plaza DriveSecaucus , NJ 07094 USAConsumer Hotline1-800-275-1414 Monday – Friday 9 am – 5 pm EST

And insist they remove their product from the shelves. If you see the cat flea treatment on a store shelf, talk to the store manager, let him or her know the danger and ask that it be removed.

Hartz, how many more lives must be lost before you stop this needless slaughter? Is it going to take you seeing the pain and horror in your child’s eyes when they watch a beloved friend die? Is it going to take looking into a pair of golden eyes that are begging for help as you hold the convulsing body that just hours before ran and played? If there is any compassion at all within you, you will see the need to remove this product immediately.

I panic every time one of my remaining three moves quickly. Hundreds of others out there do the same. It is too late to save so many—it isn’t too late to save the rest!!! I ask each and every employee at Hartz to stop by the pet shop on your way home tonight—or maybe you have a cat at home –really look into that cat’s eyes and ask yourself this: Doesn’t that cat’s life mean anything? Is the money worth the pain and suffering?

If that doesn’t change your mind, look into your child’s eyes. What would you do if you gave this precious child medicine to help him or her and instead of helping, the medicine attacked every muscle, caused convulsions – and death?

My cats were my children—just as so many others are to those who love them. Find your conscious, search your hearts---and stop this senseless slaughter!!!

Joyce A. Anthony
rainbow@velocity.net

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Stop the slaughter notice

Hello

To everyone that reads this. I will be posting a blog on the first of August called Stop the Slaughter. It deals with Hartz Company and a product they make called One-Stop flea treatment. They have the standard warnings of age, size, illness and pregnancy. They do NOT tell you that this product is also fatal to healthy, older cats! It doesn't kill them all but very very many have died as a result of this reckless endangerment.

I would appreciate it if everyone that reads the notice copies it and reposts it on every blog you have. This has got to stop!!!

Thank you

Ron

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

poker fans!

Like to play poker but don't have a pc? Never fear, http://www.macpokeronline.com/ is here! Although it seems like everything is geared to the PC format, some companies actually recognize the fact that there are others machines out there. Mac is a bigger player than many PC'ers want to admit.

http://www.macpokeronline.com/ lists several sites for Mac users to play their favorite games. Not in The US? No big deal this site covers many countries. It also offers bonus's and beginners guides made easy. You can play for real and actually make (or lose), real money, or you can play for free and just have fun.

You've been watching the gambling tournaments on TV and you know you are good at Texas Hold em. Then you go to your computer and There's no place to practice your skills because you prefer a Mac to a PC. Well, now you can. Just log on to http://www.macpokeronline.com/ and have the time of your life!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Call for action

Subject: WINGS

WINGS is an advocacy group with the goal of getting resources into the hands of those that need it. We have several issues that we support as shown below. Our primary source of information is the newsletter that I feel needs to be distributed to the places least likely to hold this kind of information. Abused women are usually not allowed to go anywhere alone without the abusive mate hovering. But friends and family will go to get their nails and hair done Small churches and stores are also good locations. In the newsletter are stories, usually true but not always, that show the causes, effects, and signs of the abuse that is happening in our world. Even if the abused person cannot see the newsletter, friends and family can. These newsletters, the stories, and the list of resources are a valuable tool to stop this violence.

WINGS stands for Writers Involved Nurturing Guiding Surviving. Our projects are:
Abused women, abused children, veterans, homeless, single parents, abused animals, medical issues, children's mental health, Native American Rights.

What I need are writers and people that can distribute this newsletter as well as subscribers to the newsletter. Please, if you or anyone you know can help in any way, contact me at: unwriter@yahoo.com

Ron Berry WINGS coordinator

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

A note to my friends and someone very dear to me

This will be a rambing post, I know that ahead of time.

I have made some very close friends on this net thing. I can list them, but they know who they are. Of these, I am spiritually wed to one. This young lady is the center of my universe!

Things have come up recently that have shocked my world. One I need not mention but that is something that those involved know my feelings about. I can do nothing to help and that is extremely painful to me. My daughter and her significant other are splitting. This hurts her and at the same time me because I can't stand to see her hurt. Let me add to this that we have three cars. Two are not on the road for specific reasons. The third, my son's, is a straight stick. He was learning how to drive it until today. Now he won't.

From all of this I am reeling. I also sense a dissention in something that is very dear to me. It's a group that was just starting to grow, but I'm afraid it is running out of steam. I don't know how to deal with that. We need everyone but, no one seems to have any time. I don't know, maybe I'm reading all of this wrong, but right now, I am hurting, badly. Thank heaven for my music. At least I can shut the world out for a short bit.

I am at a loss where to go, what to do. It feels like every time I take one step forward, I get thrown back four. This is the penalty for being sensitive.

Sorry for rambling, but I had to get it out. I've felt like, never mind, that is probably wrong.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

a life, in short

I remember looking in mirrors from my earliest childhood and hating what I see. That has not changed. I've felt out of place, always on the outside looking in. Again that has not changed. I have asked myself for years, who am I and what is my place in this world? I know I am supposed to be here for a reason, but even after sixty years, I don't have a clue. I know factory life and corporate life are both outside of my purvue. It's always, "You're good, but not good enough". Am I ever going to be good enough for anything? Anyone?

I have sought answers and only found more questions. I have made many close and some extremely close, friends in the writer community. I know now that I can write, but to what avail? I want to make a change, to do something. Who am I, what am I supposed to do? If only I really know. Maybe someday

Sunday, May 06, 2007

So clean we're killing ourselves

How clean do we have to be? We have sanitzed ourselves to the point that the smallest bug will kill us. We as kids used to play in the dirt. We made mud pies. We caught various mild maladies. Guess what, that built up our resistance. Not anymore. Heaven forbid a kid gets dirty without mom grabbing the lysol! To make matters worse, these survivors started drug companies that designed drugs to cure everything. Ok, some of them are worthwhile. Depression has only recently been diagosed and treatable. The same goes for some other things, but the change is more to do with, heaven forbid, carbs and calories!! We have to eat 'healthy' to stay well and skinny.

On another topic, but related.

Smoking is something man has done for years. Now it is so bad that the government thinks it is everypersons parent and has decided to add outrageous taxes to prevent people from buying these things. Excuse me, but many buy these things to relieve the stress of worrying about what they can or cannot eat. They smoke so they don't have to worry that that extra pound will show and they can't afford one of those muscle builders. But, thanks to the experience of the 20's alcohol is ok. It is so ok that it is advertised everywhere. Buy bud, get drunk, run down the innocents, hopefully the ones that have those overpriced cigerettes in their pocket.

People are so stressed worrying about the carbs and calories that they are constantly paying for their doctors european vacations to ensure they have the latest calorie killer, carb reducer and stress reliever. Don't worry about it, the drunks can smash even the svelte, calorie counting, carbless, non smoker into the nearest sidewalk.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Enough!!!!

I am not the most 'Religious' person in the world. I don't spend nights and weekends in some church. However, I know a few things. First and foremost -

Madeline Ohare is dead!!!! She did not believe in anything. Oh wait, she did, money and armaggedon. She got both. If you don't believe that latter part, look at Columbine, or Virginia Tech. We have replaced God with guns and violence in our schools and homes. We cannot disipline because it is abuse. Excuse me, but not being able to disipline is why we have these problems. Wake up people!!! It is time to bring God back. I don't care if you are a Christian and your God is God, or Muslim and you believe in Allah, or some other higher supreme being. We need to bring prayer back to the schools, into our lives!! You don't believe in prayer or a God? Then use that time to reflect on your life. We don't necessarily need to spank our kids, but we must, absolutely must, instill disiplne and respect. We must take the court system and government out of it. You believe in money? It still says in God we trust. Who do you trust?

Anyone care to start a movement to reinstill God in our lives, in our schools, in our Government? Contact me at unwriter @ yahoo.com. I don't know if we can do anything but right now our doing nothing is getting our kids killed!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

What hath we wrought!?!

I received the following in a very special group. It is so very true!!!! The question becomes, are we a country run by one dead athiest or do we follow the god given rules? It took an athiest to remove prayer from school. It will take a God fearing country to put it back. Let us hope he returns to school before all the schools have been riddled with the bullets of troubled minds armed to the teeth. Please read the following and pass it on.

Ron

On Thursday, Darrell Scott, the father of Rachel Scott, a victim of the Columbine High School shootings in Littleton, Colorado , was invited to address the House Judiciary Committee's subcommittee. What he said to our national leaders during this special session of Congress was painfully truthful.They were not prepared for what he was to say, nor was it received well. It needs to be heard by every parent, every teacher, every politician, every sociologist, every psychologist, and every so-called expert! These courageous words spoken by Darrell Scott are powerful, penetrating, and deeply personal. There is no doubt that God sent this man as a voice crying in the wilderness. The following is a portion of the transcript:"Since the dawn of creation there has been both good & evil in the hearts of men and women. We all contain the seeds of kindness or the seeds of violence. The death of my wonderful daughter, Rachel Joy Scott, and the deaths of that heroic teacher, and the other eleven children who died must not be in vain. Their blood cries out for answers."The first recorded act of violence was when Cain slew his brother Abel out in the field. The villain was not the club he used.. Neither was it the NCA, the National Club Association. The true killer was Cain, and the reason for the murder could only be found in Cain's heart."In the days that followed the Columbine tragedy, I was amazed at how quickly fingers began to be pointed at groups such as the NRA. I am not a member of the NRA. I am not a hunter. I do not even own a gun. I am not here to represent or defend the NRA - because I don't believe that they are responsible for my daughter's death. Therefore I do not believe that they need to be defended. If I believed they had anything to do with Rachel's murder I would be their strongest opponent.I am here today to declare that Columbine was not just a tragedy – it was a spiritual event that should be forcing us to look at where the real blame lies! Much of the blame lies here in this room. Much of the blame lies behind the pointing fingers of the accusers themselves. I wrote a poem just four nights ago that expresses my feelings best. This was written way before I knew I would be speaking here today:Your laws ignore our deepest needs,Your words are empty air.You've stripped away our heritage,You've outlawed simple prayer.Now gunshots fill our classrooms,And precious children die.You seek for answers everywhere,And ask the question "Why?"You regulate restrictive laws,Through legislative creed.And yet you fail to understand,That God is what we need!"Men and women are three-part beings. We all consist of body, mind, and spirit. When we refuse to acknowledge a third part of our make-up, we create a void that allows evil, prejudice, and hatred to rush in and wreak havoc. Spiritual presences were present within our educational systems for most of our nation's history. Many of our major colleges began as theological seminaries. This is a historical fact. What has happened to us as a nation? We have refused to honor God, and in so doing, we open the doors to hatred and violence. And when something as terrible as Columbine's tragedy occurs -- politicians immediately look for a scapegoat such as the NRA. They immediately seek to pass more restrictive laws that contribute to erode away our personal and private liberties. We do not need more restrictive laws. Eric and Dylan would not have been stopped by metal detectors. No amount of gun laws can stop someone who spends months planning this type of massacre. The real villain lieswithin our own hearts."As my son Craig lay under that table in the school library and saw his two friends murdered before his very eyes, he did not hesitate to pray in school. I defy any law or politician to deny him that right! I challenge every young person in America , and around the world, to realize that on April 20, 1999 , at Columbine High School prayer was brought back to our schools. Do not let the many prayers offered by those students be in vain. Dare to move into the new millennium with a sacred disregard for legislation that violates your God-given right to communicate with Him. To those of you who would point your finger at the NRA – I give to you a sincere challenge. Dare to examine your own heart before casting the first stone!My daughter's death will not be in vain! The young people of this country will not allow that to happen!"Do what the media did not - - let the nation hear this man's speech.. Please send this out to everyone you can .

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

bartender, pass me my pills

Mother says to Johnny, "Don't take drugs. Pass me my xanax please." What kind of message are we sending to the kids? Over 80% of the ads on television are for one drug or another. There's one to put you to sleep, one to wake you up, one for anxiety, one for depression, etc. The average home has at least four bottles of pills prescribed by a doctor!! Mom and dad get up and head to the bathroom, get a glass of water and a handfull of pills to survive the day. Before going to bed they take another handfull to survive the night.

However, booze seems to be ok. The ad's that aren't for drugs are for one beer or another. Grab a beer, take your pills and hope you can see well enough to find your car keys. But, make sure to tell the kids not to take pills.

Take the ads for drugs out of Readers Digest and other mags and there is nothing left. We have become a nation that is so clean and sterile that even the simplest of germs will lay us out flat. We are now the United States of Pharmacia. So, I guess the real question is, "Does Acccident forgiveness count even in fatal accidents?:"

Pass me my beer, I have pills to take.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

The Storm has arrived!!

Storm, the most viscereal, inspiring book ever written is now available!

Oh, wait, you don't know about Storm yet? I've had a visit with the author, Joyce Anthony and here is our conversation.

Ron: What was your inspiration for having Storm show up at a lighthouse?

Joyce: I tried to think of the most isolated, out-of-the way place I could, one that was also fairly safe from weather and critters--and a lighthouse in the middle of an ocean was perfect :-)

Ron: Where did the picture (mental) come from for a whirling rainbow?

Joyce: One day the thought occurred to me that some days all the colors of the rainbow swirl together so tightly they create balck--therefore, even on the blackest of days, there is always a rainbow.

Ron: Is Storm, the title and main character, a play on temptuous?

Joyce: Other than the fact he appeared during a storm, I find storms powerful. They always bring about chnge, sometimes drastic and other times subtle--but always a change. Like a storm, my MC is powerful and brings about change to all he touches.

Ron: Maggie, in her role, designed as man's best friend for the obvious reason?

Joyce: Maggie actually showed up out of nowhere and made herself part of the story--I didn't create her. She had her own reasons for appearing.

Ron: How did Storm remain on the island 33 years and have nobody question it?

Joyce: Seafaring men are often "ask no questions, make no explanations" types. There was the orphanage Sam grew up in on the mainland and Sam had a reputation from his captain days of being kind and caring--it was most likely assumed he had adopted Storm for company and help.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Fire and Ice

I've posted many things on these blogs. But the one I am about to post is very special. Read it carefully because these two have pulled together like no one I've ever known and under the most adverse of conditions. This is the story of two hero's that I am very priviledged and proud to know.

Ron
This was written by Joyce Anthony and Shane

I need to preface this message with the fact I am not trying to convert anyone but God plays a big part in it--so if you feel you will be offended by the mention of His name, feel free to delete. I do hope you read though--it is very important,
*****
Yesterday, the five apartment building I live in caught fire. Four of the five apartments were occupied. When it was all over, not one person nor one animal lost a life. Two apartments are uninhabitable, one is severely smoke damaged. Mine and the back apartment--who' s occupant is away at a church retreat this week are fine--just a very slight smell of smoke.
In the midst of trying to get all my critters out, I wasn't allowed to return--my cats and doves were still inside--the back apartment has two cats and four newborn kittens--and a kitten of five months ran into the apartment that was on fire. A snowstorm saw cockateils and a chinchilla sitting on the sidewalk. Why do I tell you this? Becaus at least some of these should naturally not have made it--yet they did.
As a lay in bed last night with now heat or electricity, I said a prayer of thanks to God. Then it hit me--when we could no longer come inside, my son was sobbing, heartbroken that we couldn't get the cats. As he held onto me, I told him to pray--we stood there, smoke pouring around us and prayed--I heard my son's words--God, please save the animals, please save Whisper (the kitten who went into the burning apartment). He kept repeating God don't let the animals die." As we prayed, his sobs subsided and he went to hunt down a dog that wasn't ours that had run in fear and carried the 40+ pound dog back two blocks when he found her.
I realized as this came back to me--the two apartments that remained livable were ours and the man at the church retreat--a loner who rarely gets involved with anyone, yet is quick to help if asked.
The firemen got the fire out--they entered the smoke-filled apartments to check for cats they could not find--and opened a window in the room with the dove cage--something else that could have killed them--yet the fireman was trying to help. Not one fireman was injured in this incident.
What saved our animals? What helped get everyone out alive? Faith--faith and a willingness to ask God for help--for it was in His hands at that point. I needed to share this with you guys. Why? Because so often I am asked how my faith became so strong--this has been the most trying test, but there have been others--and God has never failed me. I needed to share that--my faith is part of who I am. I thank God for each and every life He saved yesterday--and for allowing me to be here to share this with you.
Joyce

Thursday, April 05, 2007

The gemshop

This is for all those writers out there. I'll add more as I go along, but only the top gems make it. The list so far:
Emerald: Joyce A. Anthony - Storm {no matter what I read, this one is always on top}
Red Sapphire: Janet Elaine Smith -Pampas, Patrick and Grace mysteries, Keith Trilogy and many more.
Turquoise: Barbara Williamson-Wood - Inner trappings
{uncut} Joyce Scarbrough - True Blue Forever

Saturday, March 17, 2007

cybershells

One last flower, one last vase.

I am now putting this black carnation in an iron vase, set way off to the side. This one is for me.

Words are the bullets of the internet. I wrote a post protesting the gestapo tactics used to put more money into the coffers of the Iowa bank. This money will be used to give state politicos raises. It will also fund non smoking casino's with twice the number of bars. That way all of those non smokers can gamble away their savings and drink enough to endanger the lives of everyone they meet on the road. No, the money won't go to fix or build roads, that would be logical and Iowa is NOT logical.

No one saw the taxes part. Everyone condemned the smoking part though and did it well. It was just my train of thought. Hmmm, maybe a trip to the park would help.

Friday, March 16, 2007

money hungry Iowa

Iowa is the first in the nation. The very first state to eliminate the middle class. Thanks to our new tax laws, only the rich can afford to buy cigarettes. Is it legal? Of course it is, the government did it. They have taxed one entity out of business. Whatever will this money hungry state destroy next? How about coffee? Then all the smokers can suffer both withdrawal from nicotine and caffeine at the same time!!
I guess they might as well make it easy and just remove all controls on guns. That way those of us that smoke and drink coffee can just add more business to the soon to be growing mortuary business. Oh wait, that will be getting taxed out of business too. Hmm, I guess we’ll just have to start digging bigger pits to throw the excess bodies in. Isn’t Iowa just grand?

Monday, March 12, 2007

crush that taco!!!

I try to avoid politcal issues. However, our government (Yes Virginia, we do get what we pay for and this government is not even good enough for a goodwill bin), has finally proven just how idiotic it really is. Ok, yes, we all know that war in Iraq is just to reduce the number of male taxpayers. But their latest bouts of stupidity have me totally up in arms.

What, may I stupidly ask, is the problem with immigrants? I guess since they can't vote they are undesirable. Are they taking jobs of Americans? No, in fact we ship the good jobs to their country. We are not the natives of this country. I do not recall ever seeing a petition to fence the east coast to keep the pilgrims out. I don't believe the Mexicans, or any from South America built very many walls to prevent the spanish or portugese from conquering them. Europe has taken down borders and make a united Europe. What in the hell is the mindset here? Heaven forbid a mexican will sneak in to feed his family!!!!

Oh, wait. I know what it is. Spies and Terrorists come in through the Mexican border disguised as immigrants. Give me a break. The bad guys that want in to cause damage have much more sophisticated ways. They can forge papers to the point they will come in legally. Justify this immigration thing. It cannot be done!! Dont get me wrong, there are a lot of excuses and I've heard a lot of them, especially at Taco Bell!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Another vase

I've decided it is time to add the flower of youth, the Lilac in it's own vase. There will be five of them. I think the best way is to do this from youngest to least youngest.

Let us look at someone who is young yet at the same time very adult. This is a person that anyone would be very proud to know and I am. His youth belies his knowledge. Much of what he knows he was taught by an expert teacher but there are things that he knows that cannot be taught. He has a spiritual insight oft thought reservered for the elders. Tis a wisdom of life that has woven a thread of maturity unheard of in much of the youth of today.

Come, join me in raising a glass (Kool-aid), in tribute To Shane Foster, The son of Joyce Anthony.

Friday, February 23, 2007

words, worlds, wisdom

It has been the week that should have never happened. I get in trouble at work for being personable. I learned that money, banking and humor do not mix. Tough, that is who I am and what I am. I am not a robot. Those were my parting words. Do not tell me words, I have my own. I know how to use them. A law firm finds a way to legaly steal money from my son, devastating, but we were able to short circuit their plans. Don't tread on me, I do bite.

I write tributes, but jealousy burns so strong in some that destroying me becomes paramount. I write words to honor the fallen, and come close to being crushed. Tis unfortunate that there are those that do not know how to listen nor to see. It takes more than eyes to see and more than ears to listen. Heed my words, feel my passion. Let not hatred and the worship of the almighty coin of the realm rule your life. Money allows one to exist, love allows one to live.

I have seen the world but now I see the world around me. I visit the earth from a higher plane. I am not looking down, nor do I look up at all that is around me. I am on a plane that has neither height, nor depth. It does however allow me to see the shallowness of those around me. As I observe, I can see that all too many have an existance that is solely dependent upon whatever materialistic gains are to be had. Material goods mean nothing. friendship means all. I need not a fancier car, but to love those around me, is of primary concern. I find more value in creating a smile in others.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

No Rose is an Island


We now have a pacific Rose to put in our cybervase. This is the first yellow rose to be added. It must be yellow because wherever this young lady goes, she radiates the sun of the California sunshine. Her display of support for this vase, these triibutes and indeed the very coupling from which this vase emerged have earned her a most prominent position in our vase.
She has since sprouted wings, and as an able speaker, can spread the word about our cause to many. Some people are shallow and make it easy to pen words in their description. This young lady is quite the opposite. Her accomplishments include Toastmasters, Beads, and Books. We are very fortunate to have her as part of WINGS also. Let us, with open arms, welcome our newest Rose, Nancy McCormick.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

The Rape of America

The sign reads: $19.95, The cashier rings up 29.95 plus tax. Why? There is a $10.00 mail-in rebate. Spend another fifty cents and wait for over two months to get ten bucks!!! and that is only if you do it in the right timeframe.

Fifty dollars in rebates is really five $10.00 certificates that must be sent in, according to a specified date, to get a ten dollar gift card. These are from the same credit card company that sends out fifteen dollar checks that when cashed sign you up for a protection program that is 85 cents per $100.00. Most people don't even notice it, until it's too late.
The above is the next best thing to snake oil sales. Legal but just barely.

Smoking is banned everywhere yet the majority of lung cancer victims are non smokers. No, it is not second hand smoke. Those that smoke are banished to the netherreaches of outdoors. Guess what? That makes them stronger!

Companies use these and other legal tactics to get the coveted dollar. There is no respect left in the business, corporate or retail world. The idea is to get the money from the consumer at all costs. The more money these golddiggers can get into their coffers, the more control they have over who does what.

Look at what you buy, was there a rebate? That last phone call, did they try to pressure you to buy something you have no use for? Do you smoke? That really makes you a villan. grab a cigarette and you're sent to the back woods. But those murdurous drunks get all the advertising they want. Watch tv, how many ads are for alcohol? Once corporate america has everyone boozed up they can then start you on their next ploy. Prescription drugs!!!!

Welcome to America, the land of the corporate, money loving terrorists!