…one breath…

A lovely, lovely video created by Livonne…in memory of her dad. 

We can all take away the message of love we hold dear in our hearts…in spite of the heartache that often accompanies it.

You can read the post which accompanies this at… http://livonne.com.au/2015/07/15/with-just-one-breath/

…leaves me…speechless.

………hugmamma.

calling all cows…???

Just when you think you’ve seen everything…another character pops up on youtube.

In this case…a mid-west farmer…with a horn.

Obviously the man’s got time on his hands.

And hidden talent???

…a natural pied piper?…or a fool with a trombone?…

………hugmamma.

the voice…WOW!!!

I don’ have to tell those of you who are avid followers of NBC’s The Voice… that this season’s competitors are amazing! 

All of them should have careers, whether it’s on TV, Broadway, Videos, Movies, Clubs, CDs, or Las Vegas. It would be sad if they went back to working a 9 to 5 job behind a desk, or the midnight shift at a restaurant.

Talented folks should realize their dreams when they work so hard to make them come true. This, of course, from a mom with a daughter still searching for her own, special niche in the dance world.

I guess I’m biased. I’m a “left-brain” person. You know, more creative than rational.

Whether or not you tune into The VoiceI’m sure your spirit will be moved.

Here are two of my favorite performances from last night. BTW…the girl is only 16. One of the judges, CeeLo Green said she mustive swallowed an old soul. See if you agree. 
…have a listen…

……hugmamma.

what’s wrong with…this picture?

Did you see the one where the guys in a boat headed straight into the tornado’s water spout…with boyish glee? And when interviewed, the boat owner said…he’d do it again, given the chance?

Did you see the congressmen who, when interviewed, swore they’d shut down the government…rather than allow millions of Americans the opportunity to sign up for health care insurance tomorrow?

Did you see the video in which a black SUV is chased down by a pack of motorcyclists who travel the road as if…they own it?

As we all know, there are two sides to every story. Whatever the arguments, certain facts are indisputable.

Had the boat overturned going through the water spout, the coast guard would’ve been called into action to rescue those numb skulls. And who would have footed the bill…us, the taxpayers, of course!

If the government shuts down, thousands of middle class folks will be furloughed, military families will cease to be paid, and the health care law will go into effect. So what will those idiot Tea Party reps have gained? Why…attention on the world stage, of course…at no cost to themselves since their salaries remain intact, regardless.

The pack mentality screams out…”One for all and all for one!” So when a gang of motorcyclists takes over the highway, surrounding a car on all sides and traveling as though they’re “rubbernecking,” what’s a car driver to do? Get out and walk?

Some days it’s difficult to believe what I’m seeing…

…ever have one of those days?,,,

The Gadsden flag

 

………hugmamma. 

weekly writing challenge: dna analysis

I’m a comic.

No. Not the Sunday news kind or the Superman kind, but the stand up kind. My daughter threatens to follow me around with a video, recording me as I mouth one-liners. And, of course, you know what comes next? She wants to share me with the world by uploading the video to YouTube! Yeah, right! Like that’s ever going to happen.

Superman

It’s not what you’re thinking, that I’m shy or humble. Heck no! It’s because neither of us knows how to upload a video onto YouTube. We’ve got the brains…we just lack the motivation. 

Funny thing about being funny. It just comes naturally, for me at least. I can’t remember anyone else in my family being funny. With 9 kids to raise after my dad died, funny was probably the furthest thing from my mom’s mind. Most likely she was thinking…life sucks…those stupid kids…I gotta get me some…I need a drink.

My siblings can be funny, when they’re not reminding me that they’re older and smarter. My brother Ed never does that though. He knows I’m smarter. I’ve got a college degree to prove it. Even though I know diddly-squat about computers, something at which Ed’s been working for 40+ years, only retiring a couple of years ago. And when it comes to being funny, he just had to open his mouth and cackle, and I was on the ground laughing my head off while holding my pee. A couple of missing teeth in his wide grin was enough to set me off.

Adolf Hitler, head-and-shoulders portrait, fac...

Talking about toothless grins. My once exuberant smile is nearly nonexistent now, unless I’m with close friends and family. That’s about 4 people.  You see, I’m in the midst of a tooth implant. Since it’s a couple of teeth back from the front left side, my smile is the length of Hitler‘s mustache. Get the picture? I could wear the retainer which the dentist made for me. It’s got my old tooth where my new crown will be. I’d have my old smile back, but then I’d have to take the retainer off every time I ate. You can see my dilemma…smile or eat…smile or eat…smile or eat. My ingenious solution? I eat during the day…and I smile when I go to bed at night. My husband likes my smile, although he wishes I wouldn’t wake him up to look at me…smiling.

It could be said that I cornered the market on funny because my siblings beat me to everything else…beauty…brains…brawn…booze. Being the youngest, I had to settle for the leftovers. Except there were no leftovers. So I went outside my family and found…funny. 

I probably caught the bug when black-and-white TV was invented. I learned funny from the masters…Laurel and Hardy…The Three Stooges…I Love Lucy…The Honeymooners…Abbott and Costello…George Burns and Gracie Allen…Red Skelton, Jerry Lewis, Art Linkletter, Milton Berle, and Jack Benny

Lucy watches Little Ricky's birthday party fro...

Lucy watches Little Ricky’s birthday party from the window ledge. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Or maybe I decided to be funny as an attention-getter. My friends and classmates thought I was hilarious when I fooled around, making goofy faces and spinning tales that were only half true. 

Once during elementary school I told a fib that back-fired. I did it to gain popularity among my classmates but wound up making enemies instead. I don’t remember what the lie was; I only remember crying and sweating…profusely. I forgot to mention one minor detail…I was in Catholic school where the nuns taught us…not to lie. I must’ve been MIA during those lectures. 

I was cured of fibbing, but I went on being funny. Like the time I pulled a papaya tree completely out of the ground. I didn’t plan to, of course. It just happened while my best friend and I were taking a breather from hunting down a litter of stray kittens in a neighbor’s backyard. I leaned against the skinny fruit tree, wrapping my arms around its trunk. When I moved to leave…the tree came with me. We had a hard time “replanting” it, especially since we were laughing so hard. We finally leaned the papaya tree against another one nearby, and ran like the dickens before the homeowners found us trespassing on their property. The hard-working Japanese couple might have beaten us with their shovels! Can you blame them? Of course I never did tell my mom. She would’ve beaten me for sure.

My daughter thinks I’m at my funniest now, when I’m on a rolling laugh. It only happens with her. One of us starts laughing, then the other. Then it’s as though we’re hitting a ping pong ball back and forth over the net. It’s even more hilarious when we’re on our cell phones. Using TANGO, we get glimpses up each other’s nostrils or deep inside our cavernous mouths. Jiggling our phones as we rock back and forth with uproarious laughter, we catch site of pimples…blackheads…”crow’s feet”…snot…drool…perspiration…smudged eyeliner. Not a pretty sight, I guarantee you. But one worth all the gold in Fort Knox

…a 27 year-old daughter cracking up at her 64 year-old mother’s…funniness.

………hugmamma. 

Papaya trees

Papaya trees (Photo credit: 4nitsirk)

you are what you eat…

My good friend at http://www.chittlechattle.com shared the following, which reminded me…of, well…me.

I can be pretty nonsensical…without breaking a sweat.

Growing up, my own brothers, sisters, and even my mom didn’t know what a goofball I was. Correction. They were definitely irked by my antics, but not in a good way. Friends, on the other hand, enjoyed my clowning around. Maybe because we were clowns of a feather, flocking together.

Only with my own family, my husband and daughter, and with my extended family of in-laws am I totally myself…funny, goofy…and totally, totally…happy!

So until the day I die, I will be…

…the little old lady…who swallowed a fly…

………hugmamma. 

let your spirits…soar

Storytellers abound. All we need do is pause, breathe deeply…and listen.

Sometimes it also helps…to open our eyes.

As with the story of an 80 year-old, deaf Canadian whose canvas is the sky and whose paint brushes are…kites.

His “artwork” draws applause…in the form of hands held high…so he can see and know…that an appreciative audience is thrilled by his artistry.

One kite in each of his hands…and one tied to his waist…the “artist,” skin leathery from hundreds of hours in the sun…”paints” like the great master he is.

The accompanying music combines to create…a beautiful ballet, whose movement…even my daughter would relish applying to dance.

…simply…breathtaking…

………hugmamma.

comedic relief…maru

Just reciprocated a visit to blogger friend Beneath the Tin Foil Hat…at http://tinfoilhatman45.wordpress.com . I’d not heard from him in a while so I thought perhaps he’d taken a break. I was very glad to “hear” from him.

The visit reminded me of how cute our furry friends are when they’re just being themselves. It prompted me to go in search of my favorite Internet cat…Maru.

Japanese, Maru is photogenic and loves being in front of the camera. He does whatever he wants, satisfying any urge that happens to strike his fancy.

Too, too, too cute for words. So I’ll let Maru show you himself.

…have to get my grandkitty on video…he’s a laugh a minute as well…

………hugmamma.

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nostalgia…somewhere over the rainbow

Visited blogger rfljenksy–Practicing Simplicity at http://rfljensky.wordpress.com , who had “liked” one of my posts. Was pleasantly surprised to see the following YouTube video which reminded me of my beloved Hawaiian islands.

Local boy and singer/musician IZZE brought his own style to the iconic song Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” 

There’s no mistaking the two. Both beautiful in their own right. However where the original is hopeful and inspirational…the island rendition is…achingly haunting.

Having recently visited my island home and extended family…I returned once more…to where memories are made that always warm my heart.

IZZE has since passed…but he lives on…somewhere over the rainbow…

………hugmamma.

hamming it up for the camera…

My friend Katy directed me to some funny pet videos.

I selected the following for your viewing pleasure. Since it’s had 6,000,000+ hits, perhaps it’s already made you chuckle.

A  few more won’t hurt. In fact…it’s what the experts suggest…for relieving stress.

ROLL ‘EM!!!

…hope that made your day…or evening…

………hugmamma.   😆

at the heart…of the storm…

 

Following is the low down behind the now infamous YouTube video that has wrecked havoc in the Middle East.

“U.S. Probes Alleged Video Producer”
by Devlin Barrett, Tamara Audi and Erica Orden

Federal authorities are investigating whether the man allegedly behind a video insulting to Muslims violated the terms of his probation by using computers and the Internet, according to two U.S. officials.

The man in question, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, was arrested in 2009 and was convicted of bank fraud a year later for a scheme in which he defrauded banks of thousands of dollars, according to documents from Los Angeles federal court.

The law-enforcement officials say they believe Mr. Nakoula is the same man who in recent days has been identifying himself as Sam Bacile, declining to say how they have drawn the connection.

A man calling himself Sam Bacile said in interviews, including a telephone conversation Tuesday with The Wall Street Journal, that he directed a film called “Innocence of Muslims.” A clip posted to Google Inc.’s YouTube by one Sam Bacile in July, which purported to be a trailer for a film about the Prophet Muhammad, has sparked angry protests in the Middle East.

The movie has its roots with a Southern California group of Egyptian Christians associated with extremist critics of Islam. The film’s assistant director, Jeffrey Robinson, said its production budget was just $250,000.

Media for Christ, a nonprofit religious organization in the city of Duarte, about 20 miles northeast of Los Angeles, took out a permit to film the movie that came to be called “Innocence of Muslims” according to Film LA Inc., which coordinates permits.

Media for Christ produces Christian television programming and broadcasts it abroad in Arabic and English, some of it highly critical of Islam.

Duarte officials said the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is providing extra patrols of the group’s facilities, which include a television production house called “The Way TV.”

Hussam Ayloush, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Southern California, said the Christian group in Duarte was “well-known for being Coptic,” the term for Egyptian Christians. Mr. Ayloush said some local Muslims have complained to him that some of its shows are spreading anti-Muslim propaganda.

Several women who answered the phone at Media for Christ and The way TV, who declined to identify themselves, said they didn’t know anything about the movie.

The Way TV aims to “use Christian satellite television to transform the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, American and Canada,” says its website.

The views espoused by The Way TV and Media for Christ appear to be far from the norm among Egyptian Christians, known as Copts–a mainstream group of Christians with moderate views similar to those of other major Christian religions. The Coptic Church, like the Greek Orthodox Church, has its own hierarchy and leadership.

There are small communities of Copts in the U.S., including in Southern California. They have denounced the film, and in recent days some have expressed fears it would spur retaliations against Coptic communities overseas. Mr. Nakoula told the Associated Press in an interview Wednesday that he, too, was a Christian Copt.

In recent years, well-known extreme anti-Islamists like Steve Klein, an insurance salesman from Southern California, have linked with a few Coptic Christians, said Muslim civil-rights groups monitoring the situation. These loosely formed alliances have produced protests at Islamic centers and events in the last few years. Mr. Klein, who didn’t return calls seeking comment, has said in media reports that he served as a consultant on the film.

“There are built-in tensions between Muslims and Copts,” said Mr. Ayloush, whose group put out a statement before the deadly embassy assault in Libya urging Muslims to ignore the film. “It just takes a few extremists to throw fuel on the fire and then other extremists to take the bait, and suddenly the entire world is dealing with a crisis.”

In the AP interview, a person identifying himself as Mr. Nakoula said he had managed the film’s production but denied he was Mr. Bacile. Attempts to identify a Nakoula B. Nakoula at the address were unsuccessful.

The creation of the film itself is unlikely to have violated any laws. The First Amendment and subsequent Supreme Court decisions specifically protect speech even if it is offensive.

However, under Mr. Nakoula’s terms of probation, he can’t access online services without the approval of a probation officer.

Of particular interest to officials now is that someone claiming to be Sam Bacile has repeatedly used the Internet in recent weeks, including to post the 14-minute trailer to YouTube. The U.S. Probation Office in Los Angeles declined to comment.

(Wall Street Journal, Friday, 9/14/12)

…all it takes…is one bad apple…

…hugmamma………

 

what price…fame?

I’ve a love-hate relationship with the Internet.

I realize its many benefits to the information age, as well as social networking. But just as the opening of the proverbial Pandora’s Box unleashed the bad with the good, so too has the Internet. 

(Photo credit to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pandora’s_box )

Of course determining what’s bad, and what’s good for that matter, is subjective. Bad to me might be good to you, and vice versa.

Two recent incidents have prompted me to script this, post-haste. The book authored by a retired Navy Seal detailing his shooting  of Osama bin Laden, and the You Tube video by an American-Israeli, that evidently incited the mob protest in Libya in which U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens was killed.

Matt Bissonnette, aka Mark Owen, authored No Easy Day: The Autobiography of a Navy Seal. According to an article by The Huffington Post

Little more than a day after killing bin Laden, Owen found himself driving home in Virginia Beach, Va. His disorientation was acute. He pulled into a Taco Bell drive-thru and ordered two crispy tacos, a bean burrito and a Pepsi. The reality of the history he had helped create began to sink in.

“This was pretty cool. It was the kind of mission I’d read about in Alaska as a kid. It was history,” he writes. “But just as quickly as those thoughts crossed my mind, I forced them out. The second you stop and believe your own hype, you’ve lost.”

Owen says he just wanted some quiet. And in telling his story, all of it, it seems clear he got it.

The Internet has given Bissonnette access to millions and millions more people  than might have read his book, had it been relegated to bookshelves for much fewer to read…back in the good ‘ole days.

Sam Bacile, a 56-year-old California real-estate developer, created a YouTube video defaming the Islamic prophet Muhammad. According to The Huffington Post…

The protests were sparked by an obscure, two-hour movie titled “Innocence of Muslims,” which came to attention in Egypt after its trailer was dubbed into Arabic and posted on California real estate developer, said he wrote, produced and directed the movie.

Bacile told The Associated Press he was an Israeli Jew and an American citizen.

Israeli officials said Wednesday they had not heard of Bacile and there was no record of him being a citizen. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not permitted to share personal information with the media.

Bacile said he had not anticipated such a furious reaction. Speaking by phone from an undisclosed location, Bacile, who went into hiding Tuesday, remained defiant, saying Islam is a cancer and that he intended his film to be a provocative political statement condemning the religion.

Bacile said he believes the movie will help his native land by exposing Islam’s flaws to the world. “Islam is a cancer, period,” he repeatedly said in a solemn, accented tone.

Israel, however, sought to distance itself from Bacile.

“It’s obvious we’ll have to be vigilant. Anything he did or said has nothing to do whatsoever with Israel. He may claim what he wants. This was not done with or for or through Israel.” Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said on Wednesday.

Granted, both Bissonnette and Bacile are entitled to speak their minds. I only wonder if they are prepared for the consequences which may, or may not, personally befall them, and perhaps those about whom they care, as a result of having aired their thoughts.

Do they realize that Islamic terrorists will go to any extreme, even suicide, to avenge themselves against their enemies?

The world might have been ensconced in a bubble during the Victorian Age, but we’ve come a long, long way since. What remains, however, might still be the age-old adage…”an eye for an eye.”

Maybe my blogger friend earthriderjudy has the right idea after all…

…speak no evil…hear no evil…say no evil…

………hugmamma.

(Photo credit to  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_wise_monkeys )

blogger to the rescue…embedding youtube

There’s a definite camaraderie among WordPress bloggers. It’s no more evident than when someone reaches out to lend a helping hand. Friend and fellow blogger, Kate at http://believeanyway.wordpress.com answered my request for someone knowledgeable in inserting Youtube videos into posts. I’d been able to do it before, but for no apparent reason that I could discern, I was no longer able to do so.

Wensicia

Image via Wikipedia

Coming to my rescue like a princess on a white charger was Kate’s friend Connie at http://ahopefortoday.com She emailed me the following instructions which even I could easily understand. I’ve been wanting to share them with you should you ever find yourself up a creek without a paddle…or canoe…as is usually my situation.

Embedding a Youtube Video
by Connie Wayne

1. Select your Youtube video.
2. Click on “share.”
3. Click on “embed.”
4. Copy html code in pop up box.
5. Return to your post draft.
6. Click on HTML (upper right corner above body of draft).
7. Place cursor where you want to insert the video. Paste. html code should “drop” into place.
8. Click back to Visual.
9. Save draft.
10. Voila! You’ve done it. You’ll either see the html code, or an empty colored box.
11. Preview post. You should see the Youtube video.
 

You might want to check out Connie’s daily, inspirational offering of the day. When you visit her blog, tell her…

…whatever you like…she’s all ears…and all heart…

………hugmamma.  😉