postaday 2011 topic: interview #3

Ever since I took up the challenge to interview someone, I’ve loved the thought of doing it. I enjoy sharing my blog with others who are generally in sync with my world view, but bring their own flavor to the mix. Multiplying my single voice by many, gets the message out farther, that we are all one people, striving to live our best lives, under the “same sky,” to borrow filmmaker Francine Le Franc’s message about the mothers of Rwanda.

Scriptor Obscura was the first blogger to follow me, and make me feel good about what I  had to say. She made me blush when she invited me to post to her blog. Friends and family have suggested that I am a writer, but to have a total stranger weigh in, was the icing on my cupcake. The fact that she’s closer in age to my 25-year-old daughter, makes her admiration of my writing doubly special. I think you’ll see her youthful, tech savvy, style reverberate throughout her responses. But like my daughter, Scriptor Obscura is an “old soul,” with a passion for life. She’s become like an internet daughter, with whom I always share hugs. Sit back…and smile for a while… 

 1. Your blog’s appearance looks so advanced. Are you naturally tech-savvy,or have you taught yourself by trial and error, or by gathering info wherever you can?
Thank you for the compliment about my blog! I have taught myself through trial and error and experiences over the years, and also by learning and gathering info as I go…and I’m still going! We never stop learning new things, as the saying goes…
2. You seem passionate, a person of convictions. What are your passions, your convictions, your causes?
I always have trouble answering questions like this one, so here is a song that basically explains how I feel: It is titled

Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise, by The Avett Brothers

The Avett Brothers in Cleveland, OH Grog Shop

Image via Wikipedia

Here is the link to the video of it on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iEr9gMYdkHI  And here are the lyrics to this song:

 

There’s a darkness upon me that’s flooded in light
In the fine print they tell me what’s wrong and what’s right
And it comes in black and it comes in white
And I’m frightened by those who don’t see it

When nothing is owed, deserved or expected
And your life doesn’t change by the man that’s elected
If you’re loved by someone you’re never rejected
Decide what to be and go be it

There was a dream
One day I could see it
Like a bird in a cage I broke in and demanded that somebody free it
And there was a kid, with a head full of doubt
So I scream til I die or the last of those bad thoughts are finally out

There’s a darkness upon you that’s flooded in light
In the fine print they tell you what’s wrong and what’s right
And it flies by day and it flies by night
And I’m frightened by those who don’t see it

 3. What relaxes you, comforts you, physically and spiritually?
These pictures express it best.

 
 4. Where do you live? It needn’t be specific. It would allow my readers and me to see the scenic backdrop against which your life unfolds. I live in Pennsylvania
 
 5. Is there something you’re longing to do, which you’ve not been able to do thus far, for whatever reason?
Oh, so many, many things! It is difficult to pick and choose just one thing! But if I had to choose one thing to start with, I would say that it has been my absolute lifelong goal to have a book of my short stories and poems published! I would absolutely love to walk into a bookstore and see my book displayed for sale on the shelf! By the way, if anyone has any advice or suggestions for me on how to get a book published, I would love to hear it! I would also love to walk into my local library and see my book available on the shelf for people to check out and read! Wow, this would be absolutely and completely amazing, to have people checking out and reading my writing! I would love to see what people have to say about it!
Thank you so much for the opportunity to be interviewed on your blog, hugmamma. I really appreciate it!
Huge, huge hugs…your friend, Scriptor Obscura.
 
 
You’ve many years to realize your dreams…and the energy and perseverance to make them come true.
 
 
sending huge hugs back at you…hugmamma.
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baby steps…whew!

 

Denial of Service Attack

Image by kryptyk via Flickr

Seems I’m getting back on track being allowed to leave comments with blogging buddies, Scriptor Obscura, The Daily Dabbler, Sage Chronicles or The (mis)Adventures of Sage, jeanne’s blog, and Random Thoughts from Mid-life. Although my comments are still not being accepted by my host, WordPress.com. Strange, but probably understandable in view of their recent DDoS, Distributed Denial of Service attack. Hubby thinks they’re still trying to get out from under the barrage.

We shoot at you

Image via Wikipedia

It’s an unfortunate world we live in, when enemies use every means at their disposal to try and bring us down. It always comes back to the “have nots” wanting what the “haves” have. Where does the fault lie, solely with the “have nots,” or also with the “haves?” In a capitalistic world, even the third world countries are moving in that direction, equality doesn’t seem a given, no matter what we like to think. I guess the equality we speak of in a democratic, capitalistic society is that we can all line up shoulder to shoulder at the starting line. What happens thereafter is “every man for himself.” Forget about those who fall by the wayside, or those who are handicapped and can’t even get “out of the gate.” These unfortunate are either stampeded or helped by “good samaritans,” who fall back to help their fellow man. Not a savory picture of humankind, but a very real one nonetheless.

Overly simplistic viewpoint, for sure. And I’m just as certain that there’s no easy answer. But perhaps there’s enough finger-pointing to go around.

an early morning rambling…hugmamma.

wordpress “woes”

Seems our host site has had its share of problems, which might be the reason I have mine. Not sure, of course. But possible. They did make the situation known, although if you’re like me, you don’t read everything they make available. So thought I’d help them out by reposting what was said.

Image representing Alexia Tsotsis as depicted ...

Image via CrunchBase

Alexia Tsotsis Mar 3, 2011

You have no idea how hard it was to get this post up, as WordPress.com, our blog host, is currently under a denial of service attack. It’s been almost impossible to access the TechCrunch backend for the past 10 minutes (everything seems to be stable now) and users have been receiving a “Writes to the service have been disabled, we will be bringing everything back online ASAP” error message.

From the VIP blog post:

WordPress.com is currently being targeted by a extremely large Distributed Denial of Service attack which is affecting connectivity in some cases. The size of the attack is multiple Gigabits per second and tens of millions of packets per second.

We are working to mitigate the attack, but because of the extreme size, it is proving rather difficult. At this time, everything should be back to normal as the attack has subsided, but we are actively working with our upstream providers on measures to prevent such attacks from affecting connectivity going forward.

We will be making our VIP sites a priority in this endeavor, and as always, you can contact us via xxxxx@wordpress.com for the latest update. We will also update this post with more information as it becomes available

 

Matt Mullenweg during the conference WordCamp ...

Image via Wikipedia

WordPress did not mention the origin of the attack (DDoS =! Anonymous) and I have contacted founder Matt Mullenweg for more information. WordPress.com currently serves 30 million publishers, including VIPs TED, CBS and TechCrunch, and is responsible for 10% of all websites in the world. WordPress.com itself sees about 300 million unique visits monthly. 

Update: Automattic and WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg tells us that this is the largest attack WordPress.com has ever seen, and is likely to be politically motivated:

“There’s an ongoing DDoS attack that was large enough to impact all three of our datacenters in Chicago, San Antonio, and Dallas — it’s currently been neutralized but it’s possible it could flare up again later, which we’re taking proactive steps to implement.

This is the largest and most sustained attack we’ve seen in our 6 year history. We suspect it may have been politically motivated against one of our non-English blogs but we’re still investigating and have no definitive evidence yet.”

You can check here for the latest status updates.

Image via: blogohblog

Update 2: Looks like everything’s back to normal.

  
  
Wow! And I thought I had problems. Think I’ll crawl back into my cave.
 
…let me know when the “all clear” siren sounds…hugmamma.

“spammed” out of wordpress.com community

 

WordPress.com

Image via Wikipedia

It seems Akismet has probably decided I’m no longer welcome out there in the wordpress.com community. Can’t complain really because they’ve kept thousands of spammers from getting through to me. So I’ll keep blogging, in semi-isolation, possibly leaving comments on other blogs, hoping they’ll be “unspammed.” WordPress support staff seem as clueless as me, so there’s no real answer to my disappearing comments. Tried to post one this morning on “Success Network Recipes.” My comment “looked” like it might be accepted, but it wasn’t.

Now I know how spammers feel, except I’m not trying to coast on someone’s publications. But it is interesting to see firsthand, the downside of blogging, and technical control. When I tried to email Akismet again as suggested by a member of the wordpress.com support staff, the screen that came up asked if I wanted to buy into spam protection. Confused I emailed back to the support staff at WordPress asking if I now had to purchase spam protection. I’m awaiting their reply. The blogger of Success Network Recipes said in her post Perfect Solution for Blogging,”

This is a very good question, Lucy. Recently I noticed WordPress have been adding charges to their .com version on certain elements which were free before, such as getting your API key to activate Akismet

This is all a little frustrating, to be sure. My foray into the wider world of wordpress is probably being seen as intrusive by the controls that are locked in at Akismet. Unfortunately, the nuts and bolts of computers can’t “think outside the box.” So perhaps the human in control of making decisions is away from his station, or perhaps there’s no human at the helm. Hmmm… Makes you wonder.

The other possibility is that my user name “hugmamma” is too suggestive. When I first began blogging, I did get a few spammers who obviously thought I was a “madame.” One foreign gentleman asked what I meant when I wrote “a babe in the woods” when I spoke of being a total novice to blogging. I had to laugh at what must’ve been going through his mind. Me at 61? Duh, I don’t think so. For sure he didn’t read my “About” page.

All kidding aside, I’m in a marginal “pickle.” I can write, but I can’t participate. So I’ll go back into my hovel like a hobbit, keep writing, and ponder my options. Meanwhile I hope you’ll keep stopping by to visit and read, and hopefully leave me comments, which I promise will not be spammed. As a wise soon-to-be 25 year old soul, my beloved daughter, once said to me…

DSC_3525

Image by ph54441 via Flickr

 

the only consistent thing in life is change…so we’ll see…we’ll see…hugmamma.

“stylish blogger award,” an honor

WordPress Logo

Image via Wikipedia

WordPress.com

Image via Wikipedia

There are so many creative bloggers on wordpress.com. I’m meeting some of them, in addition to getting some great technical advice from my new, good friend and faithful reader, “scriptorobscura.” She”s another of my “guardian angels,” hovering to offer a kind word, generous comment, as well as “liking” my posts. No one could ask for a nicer blog pal. So while I was surprised at the honor, I wasn’t surprised at its source.

Along with several others, I received Sage’s “Stylish Blogger Award.” Recognition from fellow bloggers is indeed satisfying. So I add my thanks to Sage for creating the award…and Scriptorobscura for naming me one of its lucky recipients. Mahalo nui loa, Hawaiian for “Thank you from the bottom of my heart.” 

Today I saw to my great and wonderful surprise that I had been honored by Sage with this lovely and beautiful award! Thank you so much, Sage! I am honored and touched that you would think of me for this award.

Now comes the hard part. The stylish blogger award must be passed along to other bloggers! Here they are, in no particular order:

Enjoy!

i am…enjoying the blogging community and those who dwell within it…hugmamma.

“funny thing?!?,” ellen de generes

Something just happened which makes me think I’ve still got a tiny, rain cloud hovering overhead, leftover from my recent spate of mishaps.

Image representing LiveJournal as depicted in ...

Image via CrunchBase

While I was in my hovel pounding away on my keyboard, wordpress.com initiated “blog buddies” in January of this year. A great idea, it fosters the growth of communities among wordpress.com bloggers. Other sites like Oprah.com and Live Journal  are known for their interactive networks. Having been a latecomer to the scene, I attempted to make connections. With no responses to my requests forthcoming, I surmised that perhaps our interests and backgrounds were too dissimilar. No problem, I thought. There’ll be other opportunities, I’m sure.

Ellen The Complete Fourth Season DVD Cover Art

Image via Wikipedia

But being the person I am, oft times gregarious, I decided to email Ellen,  inviting her to be my blog buddy. When I’ve watched her show, she seems up for anything. So I thought “Why not?”

Going to her website and pulling up its first page, there was a contest I could enter if I wanted. Out of curiosity, I did. I knew 2 of the 3 answers immediately; I guessed the third. Upon clicking “continue,” what I saw next were 3 gold ribbons offering prizes for having been the day’s grand prize winner.” They were a $1,000 Walmart gift card, a $1,000 Best Buy gift card and an Ipad. Unable to fathom what I was seeing, but attempting to make a quick decision, I called my husband and my daughter, to no avail. Finally deciding to go for the Best Buy prize, I  clicked my choice. As expected, the next part of the process was to fill in some information, which I did. Continuing to the next page, I was asked to input my cell phone number. Of course I had to call my cell to make sure I had the correct number. But before I went any further, I read the fine print. Oh, oh, I thought.

If I clicked, I would be engaged in an ongoing game of sorts with ringtones, games, messages and so on. The cost? $9.99 a month, indefinitely. I was assured I’d be able to cancel after 30 days if I wanted. Well, I couldn’t get out of that scenario fast enough, especially after being scammed recently by “System Tool,” which infiltrated my laptop with viruses. Fixing that problem cost me $199, and cancelling a couple of credit cards as well. So I quickly began backing out of what looked like another scam, “Click + alt + delete.” What I couldn’t understand is how Ellen’s website would allow such an occurrence. But, hey! This is still all new to me.

[Sisters Lucretia Electa and Louisa Ellen Cros...

Image by The Library of Congress via Flickr

I emailed Ellen asking about the contest, and if she’d agree to be my blog buddy. I’m sure she’s got lots on her plate, so I don’t expect a response to either. But maybe one of her fun assistants will send a big “hello.” Again, I won’t be holding my breath…

seven months does not an expert make…but i’m having fun in the process…hugmamma.  😉

if i were to speak

I’m not a public speaker. I heard my husband speak once at a community gathering of “movers and shakers” in the small, eastern Washington town of Okanaga. He was starting a conversation about possibly bringing employment to some of their citizens in the form of a call center, where questions could be fielded, and reservations booked for his company. Initially fearful for him, I was soon mesmerized by my husband’s comfortable, conversational style of public speaking. He smiled easily, added small touches of humor, and to my way of thinking, knocked their socks off! He did mine, anyway.

My daughter has also taken to speaking publicly without anxiety. At the end of her ballet company‘s season, the end of April, she and 3 or 4 fellow dancers choreograph pieces, setting them on the trainees. These are dancers hoping to be hired into the company one day. Unfortunately most don’t make it, so they audition elsewhere, or go on to do other things.

It seems my daughter has emerged as the spokesperson for WIP, “Works In Progress.” On the day the pieces are performed for a non-paying audience, she gives a brief introduction about the history of the project, and the choreographers, and the pieces to be danced. Evidently my daughter’s been congratulated by the artistic staff for her eloquence, and ease of delivery.

I’m not sure if I’ve always felt tongue-tied, with a panic attack near-at-hand just before standing, or sitting, to speak before a group, large, medium, small, or tiny. I know I begin to hyperventillate, trying, in the last few moments, to memorize an entire speech which I’d not written beforehand. But, of course, I can only visualize a blank wall, staring back at me.

So if I were asked to give a fantasy speech, for example about blogging, in front of a group of professional writers, here’s how it might unfold.

I’m not as good a speaker as I am a writer. That’s not to say I’m a great writer. It just means I don’t speak as well as I write. But I’m sure I don’t write as well as you all. If I could speak like anyone, I’d like to speak like Colin Firth, not the stuttering Colin Firth, but the tongue-in-cheek Colin Firth. Know what I mean? No, of course not.

I was asked to talk about blogging. Well, I’m only a novice, having started a mere 7 months ago. I can only tell you what I know, which is not a whole hell of a lot. Oh, sorry. Excuse the language. Getting old you know, words just slipping out, just as other things are apt to do in old age. Oh, sorry, sorry. TMI. TMI. My daughter’s words, not mine. Now where was I?

Blogging! Right! Pretty mind-boggling stuff, you know. Couldn’t do it without wordpress.com. Those buggers set the whole thing up, I just “click” wherever they tell me to “click,” and voila! I’m good to go. As long as I’ve got pictures with the directions, I can get most things. But when they start throwing around techy-speak, well I’m as lost as the cow who flew over the moon and never came back.

You want to know the truth? I don’t know why the hell they asked me to talk to writers about blogging in the first place. We’re birds of a different feather. You’re all flamingos, and I’m just a Hawaiian mynah bird.

But you were real nice to listen to me jabbering away about nothing. Mahalo!

i’d say the same about you, dear reader…hugmamma.

postaday2011 challenge: interview

WordPress.com recently suggested a topic challenge, to interview someone, possibly another blogger. The suggestion to “bust out our journalism skills” was intimidating at first, but after further thought I decided to go for it. I reached out to “My English Thoughts,” another wordpress.com blogger. The site’s author intrigued me because while she’s French, she blogs in English. I congratulate her for not letting a foreign language get in the way of free expression. She writes fluidly, without regard for “political correctness.” Good for her! I hope you enjoy meeting my new internet friend, and that you’ll welcome her into your homes, as you have welcomed me.

Why did you decide to blog?

Well that’s a very good question ! I’ve started to blog in October 2009 in French. At time I wanted to interact with other bloggers and share a little piece of my life, my feelings, but it happened that the French blog community is not exactly the same than the English one, so quickly I’ve understand that if I wanted to be read, I had to publish short and kinda unpersonel and superficial. After almost an year, I couldn’t recognize myself in my blog so I didn’t write anymore.

Then one day, I’ve discovered WordPress and the Post a day / Post a week challenge ! I’ve decide to go for it but this time, I will write my blog in English ! First because there is no much French using WordPress, but mainly because I love English and I want to improve it in writing as much as I can.
 

It appears to me that writing in English is so much easier for me than writing in French, no taboo, no censure because members of my family are reading it… Plus the English / Worldwide community is much more fun, welcoming and interesting than the French for what I know. They do really care about what you want to say and not about to be fun / short / superficial….

Have you traveled outside of France? If so, where have you been, and is there a favorite place you’d recommend my readers and I visit, both in France and elsewhere.

I love travelling !! Unfortunately, I can’t travelling a lot because of the money but I’m trying to at least. 🙂

I’ve been in Italy, Firence in Toscana (Florence), Venezia (Venise), and of course to the border line with France ( My Hometown is Nice, French Riviera, so I guess it is normal… ). I’ve been to Geneva in Swiss, Czech Republic twice ( Prague, in Bohemia, Brno, Czech Prachatice, Lednice, Hluboka… actually I’ve travelling all around this country ), London of course too, Namur in Belgium and that’s about it for foreign country.

I would love to visit the Highlands in Scotland, Australia, New Zealand, Viet Nam, Japan, Canada, USA and South America… In fact, there is so many country that I would love to visit !

In France, I’ve been to the south west, south east of course, Normandie, in the French Alps and “Pays de la Loire“. I have to admit I do not know much my own country !

I strongly recommend Prague, Toscana ( both wonderful country ), I fall in Love too with London for the architecture and the mood in the city.

In France, I would recommand you to visit Montmartre in Paris, it’s so lovely and charming ! South East too, there is so many beautiful landscape, the sea is just lovely in the summer time, Pays de la Loire because of the wonderful Castles and the Bretagne ( Britain ), because of the landscape and some wonderful city as Mont St Michel ! French Alps are delightful too !!

 When Americans visit Paris, are there tips you can offer which would make us more acceptable to the French who deal with tourists? I”d heard that Parisians might not be so friendly towards non-French speaking persons.

Don’t worry about Parisians!  Some of them are not welcoming or easy to speak with even with French people !! They are stressed, always on the rush or anything. That’s not an excuse I know, and sometimes it’s even difficult for me too !

But seriously, if you’re visiting France, you will meet too wonderful people. Try to learn few words in French, just like “Bonjour”, “Merci”, “Comment ça va?”… you know the small little basics. There is a community very welcoming with foreigners called ” Couch surfing community “. We use to meet every monday night in a pub !! There is lot of French people but some of my friends are also Mexicans, Argentinians, Lebanese, Australians, English… There is a website where you can contact them and sometimes, they can meet you to have a drink or walk around the city with you to make you discovering some places !

I’m sorry I can’t answer to the following question right now, I have to rush to my job now. 🙂  I will very soon, I don’t know if I could tonight or tomorrow but I will have some time off Saturday for sure !

It’s really a great pleasure to do that, and kinda of unexpected too ! 🙂 I will wrote an post about it as soon as I can and if you could answered too to the same questions, It would be so lovely !! 🙂 a Kind of Double Interview ! So my readers could get to know you too as well.

Hugs
Isabelle

charming…simply charming…hugmamma.


give up the internet?

A tricky question posed by the wordpress.com staff to bloggers participating in Post a Day  2011. Most of the comments left by bloggers attested to mostly mixed feelings about the internet, mine included.

I’d very much like us to return to the old days when we communicated face to face, and mailed hand written letters, and visiting the local library was a trip to which we looked foward. But then would we want to return to the days before electricity, telephones, not to mention cell phones, automobiles, paved roads, supermarkets, refrigerators, stoves? The list is endless.

Recently, I’ve heard mentioned, “the only consistent thing in life is change.” So it seems there’s no turning back the hand of time. But in the case of the internet, perhaps a disconnect now and then teaches us to appreciate when we have it, and to appreciate other things in life, when we don’t. We can enjoy having both, as long as we live in the moment, and not stress out.

been there, done that…see my posts about Comcast”…hugmamma.

 

comcast connection lost

Well, looks like the “link” with Comcast has finally been lost. It was good while it lasted, can’t complain. Will have to suggest my senior friends go the old-fashioned route, placing a call. Hopefully, Comcast will get the message that there’s a problem with their phone, when the customer rep can’t hear because of the echo that reverberates in his ears. If I can locate an email address for one of my former “guardian angels,” I’ll definitely pass it along. Maybe Comcast’s monstrous growth will bring an end to their charming, small town customer service. We’ll just have to wait and see. 

Wish all these new technologically advanced gizmos and gadgets could just work without hiccups. But I guess that’s life, never a dull moment. I’m keeping my fingers crossed, don’t want to jinx my working internet connection.

been there, done that…hugmamma.

facebook “virus” warning

Thought I’d warn you of an odd occurrence that took place. At times the internet can be an ominous place for those of us not particularly adept at seeing the predators who lurk nearby.

It’s been my habit to feed blog posts to viewers of Facebook, Stumbleupon and Twitter. Having done so dozens of times, the process has become a ritual. Click here. Click there. Presto! My posts are out in the blogosphere. With one particular post, published within the last hour or so, I went through the usual process of feeding it to Facebook. What appeared before I clicked “share,” differed from the norm. Where I usually see my gravatar, followed by a few opening words of the post, and perhaps a picture that accompanied it, there was simply a line that began with “http://——.” I don’t want to reprint it here, for obvious reasons.

Thinking it was a Facebook “gliche,” I clicked “share,” and thought no more about it. Thankfully, I have several guardian angels hovering over me, one being my brother Ed, a technical wiz. He emailed me advising that I warn Facebook friends not to open the post with the “http://—” line as it was probably a virus. Calling upon my archangel hubby for assistance, we perused my Facebook page and found the offending intruder. Deleting it immediately, I posted a note for Facebook friends to see, advising that they DON’T open “hugmamma” posts which differ from the normal visual pattern, as described above.

I’m repeating the warning here in my blog for Facebook readers, as well as for those of you who blog and might come across such an oddity on your own. 

All we can do is be very wary of persons intent upon interfering with others’ lives. That they should try to do good instead, is something for which we can only hope, and pray. But we must not let them deter us from what gives us pleasure, especially as we try to do the same for others.

It’s a lesson we can learn from the recent Tucson shooting victims, including Gabrielle Giffords and Christina Taylor Green. They along with countless others before them, may have been victims of senseless acts, but time and again, we have shown resilience in rallying to move forward, unwilling to let the underbelly of mankind win. So…

i’ll keep blogging…you keep reading…huge hugs…hugmamma.

cat nap? wish i could

In another post, published on 1/12/11, “solution to insomnia? blogging!” I owned up to the fact that I’m an insomniac, not good for someone with Alzheimer’s in my genes. It’s been proven that 7 to 8 hours of restful night-time sleep is a must in fighting the dreaded disease. Another thing I’m working on, even as I type.

I still struggle to clear my mind as my head tosses and turns on the pillow. Last night it seemed to help that I kept repeating to myself, “melatonin, melatonin, melatonin.” For those of you out of the loop, melatonin is a natural supplement which aids sleeplessness. It’s actually present in us, in varying degrees. I guess those blest with more, sleep better; those like me, registering a deficit, lay awake counting, or not counting, sheep. Too lazy to get my body out of bed, to down the “wonder” pill, I opted for “mind over matter,” and said the word instead. It worked! I think the process is called meditation. Evidently that’s another helpful solution for insomnia. Hey, I’ll do anything, short of hitting myself over the head with a two-by-four!

I wish I could slide into “la, la land” as easily as cats seem to do. While their radars are probably still on “full alert,” their bodies look sublimely relaxed in repose. The following photos are of my ballerina daughter’s, adorably, photogenic, buddy Misha, named after the famous ballet dancer, Mikhail Baryshnikov. It’s hard resisting the urge to snatch him up and cuddle him without end. But as you can see, I resisted long enough to capture these sleeping images.

Too cute!

…too, too cute!!

Beyond cute!!! Absolutely precious!

And the little rascal always knows when we’re talking about him…

now if i could only take after my “grandson,”…hugmamma.

“rehashing vs. recycling”

Thought I’d call attention to a recent text addition at the very top of the sidebar, to the right of my main blog area, where my postings are viewed. The words inscribed are

Use of my material: “rehashing” is a mess; “recycling” is ok, if credit’s given, where credit’s due…hugmamma.

I’d debated early on, when I first began posting, as to whether or not I’d try to restrict use of the contents of my blog, “Hugmamma’s Attention to Detail,” and now, “Hugmamma’s Mind, Body, and Soul.” As a novice blogger my goal was to write, and then get what I’d written out to readers on the internet. At the time, maintaining ownership of my printed words, was relegated to the “back burner.”

Cat Rambo, my Blogging 101 instructor, at Bellevue College, touched upon the subject of copyright. She’s a prolific author of fantasy, her work appears on bookstore shelves as well as on the internet. One such is the “Surgeon’s Tale.” You can peruse the many references to her on Google. One that had me smiling and saying “aha,” is that Cat Rambo has an MA from The Writing Seminars of John Hopkins University. No small feat there. She is also credited as being the fiction editor of the award-winning Fantasy Magazine.

With her depth of writing and blogging experience, and with views of her website probably past the 200,000 mark at this juncture, I paid close attention to what Cat Rambo shared during her trio of classes. While she did pursue one case of copyright theft in court, our instructor maintained that such a path is expensive, and without guarantees. She added, that, generally speaking, she considers “recycling” of her words a way to broaden her audience. From time to time Cat Rambo does share what she’s in the process of writing on her sites. But she does so with deliberation, putting out just enough to whet the reader’s appetite. Smart woman, I think.

My decision regarding “use of my material” has evolved over the 6 months in which I’ve been blogging. It seemed initially other sites were hijacking my posts and inserting them into what they’d written, or even going so far as to intimate that my words were actually theirs. The end results looked like a mess, in my opinion. They seemed a hodgepodge of sentences, assembled without thought. So I shrugged my shoulders, and decided that readers weren’t dumb. They’d see through the ruse. At least any readers who value good writing.

With my nose to the grind, I kept Cat Rambo’s words emblazoned across my mind, “If you write something of value, they will come.” She may not have uttered those exact words, but I got her meaning, for sure.

The message that I leave with you then, dear readers, is that my words are to be shared, but not coveted. Just as they are no longer mine to keep safe once I’ve clicked “publish,” they shouldn’t be “rehashed” to appear to be someonelse’s. What was once mine is meant to be recycled again, and again, and again. I only ask that its origins be credited to…

hugmamma’s mind, body, and soul….with aloha…hugmamma. 

you can check out Cat Rambo on several sites: www.kittywumpus.net, catrambo.livejournal.com, www.catrambo.com. And if you leave a comment, tell her “hugmamma sent you.”

comcast, a “call” out for help

This time it literally is a “call” out for help. Over dinner last night, Sylvia mentioned their ongoing problem with their Comcast telephone service. For more than a month they’ve been experiencing an echo in their phone calls, inbound and outbound. There seems to be a delay in voice transmission, so that whatever she says is repeated. It must be maddening, and she confirms that it is, to carry on a conversation where each person has to pause before responding. Without the hesitations, communication would be a jumbled mess, I’m sure.

Because contacting a company like Comcast can be intimidating for seniors, I told Sylvia I’d try to get the word out to my “guardian angels,” Mark, Michael and Amanda. So let’s see if they’ll hear my voice once again through the amazing wireless connection that is the internet. If not, we’ll have to try the good old-fashioned telephone, that also may, or may not work. You can see my friend’s dilemma.

a small prayer never hurts…isn’t that what helped jimmy stewart in “it’s a wonderful life”?…hugmamma.

“george, who would be king”

Enjoyed another great night at the movies with close friends Sylvia and Jim. She and I were particularly keen to see “The King’s Speech.” Sylvia was a subject during the rule of George VI and was, therefore, very excited to see the film’s portrayal of England’s beloved monarch and his queen. Revisiting her homeland by way of the vivid photography was an added bonus. I’m a devoted fan of Colin Firth who acted the part of the king. But I too wanted to see what George VI was really like, the man beneath the crown. I’d heard of his speech impediment, but wanted to learn more about it, and how such an introvert as he, dealt with the problem. Our spouses were on the fence about the film, but decided to accompany us. They were both very happy they did.

Colin Firth did not disappoint, nor did Geoffrey Rush as the king’s speech therapist, Lionel Lough. Firth’s handling of the king’s prominent stutter was excruciatingly realistic. It pained me to watch him struggle to speak. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but the dilemma to form words and emit them naturally were so physically apparent. Firth’s eyes bulged and teared, beads of sweat sprung up on his forehead and beneath his squinting eyes. He seemed unable to breathe at times, the words sticking in his throat. I felt his dizziness, his nausea. I wanted to collapse alongside him, under the weight to speak publicly as the people’s sovereign, especially when he announced that England was joining the war against Hitler.

A great actor, but not necessarily a favorite of mine, Geoffrey Rush acted the role of Mr. Lough with eloquence and restraint. If you’re not well acquainted with Rush, you might remember him as Johnny Depp’s nemesis in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies, Barbossa, captain of the haunted ship, the “Black Pearl.” In this role and others previous, Rush seems verbose, wordy. In “The King’s Speech,” he spoke in reaction to Firth. The part of therapist was to encourage the king to speak, a lot.

As the story unfolded, it was apparent that Lough’s value to King George VI transcended the professional. Lough became mentor, confessor, friend, and “family” to the king. They remained so, for the rest of their lives. As is so like me, I shed silent tears here and there.

How sad that George VI’s difficult childhood contributed to his stuttering. How sad that his brother abdicated with little thought to the burden he was placing upon George, who would be king. But how wonderful that he had his wife and daughters, and Lionel Lough to love and support him throughout his reign. And, of course, the overwhelming love of a grateful people.

a beautiful and touching “fairytale,” deserving of an “oscar” for all involved…hugmamma.