Thursday, June 28, 2012

Lost in Cyberspace

Those of you who know me realize I'm a cyberspace case. I struggle with all things techie, even the remote control. I joined Twitter a year ago and just this week learned about making lists when I read Amber West's blog post You've Got Questions - Everything Twitter.

In the comments section of Amber's post, Renee A. Schuls-Jacobson recommended we also check out this link to Nina Badzin's five-part blog series about Twitter.

I learned some Twitter etiquette, how to make lists, and how to do a proper @ reply retweet. I had no idea a period should go in front of the @ for certain replies retweets. Either a word or a period @ should be used at the beginning of a retweet. Did you know about that? Thank you, Amber, Renee, and Nina, for helping me find my way around the Twitterverse. I've always struggled with it.

(NOTE: Nina Badzin left a comment regarding the above paragraph, which I got wrong. It's RETWEETS, not REPLIES that this info applies to. I'm glad she caught that, so I changed it.)

Guess I need to tighten my cyberspace seatbelt cause I'm constantly heading out into foreign territory.
Running into unfamiliar terrain is an ongoing experience when dealing with the internet and technology. This is how I feel:

Lost in Cyberspace
I'm wearing my Funny Bones getup in this.
I played around with iMovie's special effects options
(which I just discovered last month), and this is what I ended up with.
My oldest daughter said I look like a Muppet!
YouTube clip - 47 seconds long

Are any of you old enough to remember the television show Lost in Space? It was pretty cheesy but I was a big fan of it when I was a kid! It was on CBS from 1965 through 1968.

Danger Will Robinson - Lost in Space
YouTube clip - 31 seconds

There was no such thing as cyberspace way back then!

Amber West (A Day Without Sushi) is now accepting questions about Twitter and other social media things in her new series, You've Got Questions. Feel free to ask her about anything you need help with. The links listed above are definitely worth checking out. 

So, how about you? Do you ever feel like a cyberspace case, or is it a cinch for you?

P.S. If you want to check out some of my other YouTube videos, click here!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

In Memory of Iz - Israel Kamakawiwo'ole

Today I would like to honor the memory of singer Israel Ka’ano’i Kamakawiwo’ole, better known as Iz, one of the most beautiful voices of all time. Born in Honolulu, Hawaii on May 20, 1959,  he died on June 26, 1997.

If you're not familiar with him, you've been missing out. He often blended jazz and reggae in his ukelele songs, creating his own unique style, but it's his amazing voice that transforms his music into magic for people of all ages. Chances are you've heard him without knowing who the artist was. 

His medley of "Over the Rainbow" and "What a Wonderful World" was featured as a sound track in the movies Meet Joe Black, Finding Forrester, 50 First Dates, Fred Clause, Madagascar, Glee, in addition to many TV shows and commercials. 

According to music blog Chart Watch "Gone but Not Forgotten" post for the Week Ending October 2, 2011, by Paul Grein, "The best-selling digital hit by an artist who is no longer with us is Israel Kamakawiwo'ole's 'Somewhere Over The Rainbow'/'What A Wonderful World,' which this week tops the 3 million mark in digital sales."

That means that as of October 2011, Iz's digital hit surpassed:

It's interesting to note that the two songs in Iz's hit medley are old songs. "Over the Rainbow" was a hit sung by Judy Garland in the Wizard of Oz in 1939 (Click here to see the video). Louis Armstrong's hit "What a Wonderful World" came out in 1967 (click here to see the video).

Here's a YouTube video featuring Iz singing his medley
Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World

This is worth taking a few moments to listen to, 
especially if your soul needs a little soothing. 

At the end of both videos there's footage of the sprinkling of Iz's ashes at Makua Beach
where thousands of fans gathered on the shore, in the water, on boats, 
in canoes, and on surf boards to bid Aloha to "Brudda Iz."

This Official video of Over the Rainbow 
has had over 70 million views on YouTube.

Iz struggled with obesity all his life, weighing 757 pounds at one point. He stood 6' 2" tall. Respiratory problems and other medical complications led to his early death at age 38. He's survived by wife, Marlene, and daughter Ceslie-Ann "Wihi."

The Hawaiian state flag flew at half staff the day of Iz's funeral July 10, 1997. His body lay in state in Honolulu at the capitol building, the third person in Hawaiian history to receive this rare honor. He's the only one who wasn't a government official. 

For more information about Iz, you can visit The Official Site of Israel IZ Kamakawiwo'ole or Everything "IZ," which has music, stories, and videos. 

Other Iz YouTube videos you might want to check out:

I would like to thank Iz for all the moments his "Over the Rainbow" song lifted my spirits and offered me more than any pot of gold ever could. And how awesome that his version of "What a Wonderful World" enriched so many lives and actually made our world even more wonderful. 

Is there a song that inspires you every time you hear it? If you'd like to leave a link to it in the comments, that would be great! 

Until inspiration returns, my friends, Aloha!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Senior Prank Backfires - Parenting Plights & Delights

(Note: The names in this post have been changed to protect the innocent and the guilty!)

What is it about the tradition of senior pranks at high schools? It seems that some kids who aren't pranksters by nature are tempted to get in on senior pranks. 

Ann Surles shared a story about her daughter Patricia and boyfriend Mark that happened at the end of their senior year. It was supposed to be a harmless prank. Mark wasn't a jokster, but he got caught up in the pre-graduation fun. "Patricia and Mark both did cross-aid training for grade school kids and rode a school bus to the elementary school." It was a small bus that transported them and other teens.

Mark hurried onto the bus before the others and pulled out a bottle of Essence of Sulfur, then splashed it on all the seats. 

When everybody got on the bus, they thought that someone had a problem. Whew! What a smell! They snickered and looked around to find the stinker. 

The smell got stronger as they proceeded along. Some of the teens grew so nauseous, the bus driver pulled over to let everyone out for some fresh air. The fumes didn't let up, so the driver had to call for another bus. 

Of course, Mark never meant for anyone to get sick. He just got a little carried away sprinkling the sulfur, but sometimes even harmless pranks can backfire! By the way, the stinker was never caught!

“Few things make me sadder than when someone farts on a plane and I can’t escape it.”  
 ~ Olivia Munn

It wasn't me!
Twinkle Eyes says, "Ew! That's worse than a doody diaper!"

Have you ever played a senior prank, or do you have a good one to share with us? C'mon now, out with it!

Do you have a parenting or grandparenting memory
or another story you'd like to share? 

If you're not a parent, memories from your own childhood count, too! 

Warning: I might feature your story in a future post. 
(Names can be changed to protect the guilty!)

I'd like to thank all those who have shared their stories. 
These posts wouldn't be the same without your input.

If you don't want to leave a comment but would rather contact me by email, 
here's my address: lynkelwoohoo at yahoo dot com.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Ugly Foot Finds Its Doppelganger

“Creativity is contagious. Pass it on.” 
~ Albert Einstein

Inspiration! It can happen anywhere!

Ideas are born in the strangest places, ignited by bizarre objects or strange people. Or a random photo from my daughter's honeymoon pics.

Here's the scoop: Lily was excited to get a window seat. Then the passenger behind her rested his/her ugly, bandaged foot on Lily's armrest. She couldn't stomach the sight of it. Her hubby gave in and traded seats. (After all, a happy wife is a happy life, right?)

If you were in an English class and were given an impromptu assignment to write a paper based on the photo below, what would you write?

Nonfiction? How to politely elbow that foot off your armrest? How acts of violence can get you kicked off a plane? The importance of cleansing wounds? *yawn*

Humor? Is there anything that could possibly be funny about that foot? Hmm...what would Erma Bombeck have written?
Erma Bombeck could write about anything and make it humorous.

Horror? Remember the movie The Crawling Hand? It scared the heck out of me when I was a kid! How about writing a sequel called The Prowling Foot?

The Crawling Hand trailer - 1963

Sci-fi/Paranormal? Ugly Foot Finds Its Doppelganger in an Alternate Dimension?

Fairytale? A parody on Cinderella? Would the prince dare to try the glass slipper on that foot, or would he turn and run? What if the toe wound made Cinderella's foot swell and she couldn't fit it in the glass slipper? There would be no happy ending. Instead, maybe an outbreak of Athlete's Foot destroys the kingdom?

Romance? Good grief! I'm not going there.

Mystery? One with lots of subplots and dead bodies with missing toes? *Shudders* Definitely not a story I could write!

 "Everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, 
and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt."
~ Sylvia Plath

Could you stomach sitting next to that ugly foot? Do you find ideas in weird places? What inspires you to be creative?

You know what that photo inspired me to write? A crazy blog post!

“Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures.” 
~ Henry Ward Beecher

Monday, June 18, 2012

Boys and Bugs - Parenting Plights & Delights

Warning:  If you have a weak stomach, read no further!

One day when my nephew JW was three years old, he told my sister-in-law Debbie he came up with an invention. "First, you look for a snail. The bigger, the better. Lick them until your spit makes them really foamy. Then you stick 'em to the wall." He called his invention, "Lick'n'Sticks."

JW at age two

Even at age two JW proved to be a resourceful child. Debbie had JW help her turn the ground to get it ready to plant a garden. He grew more excited with each new worm he found and he put them in a coffee can. Soon he had quite a collection. 

When it was time for a break, Debbie fixed an ice tea for herself and a Kool-aid for JW. As they sat under a shady tree sipping their drinks, Debbie noticed that JW had left some worms laying on the sidewalk. 

"Look," she said. "You left your worms in the sun. They're drying up."

"Are they hot?" he asked.

"The sun is just cooking them," she said. Next thing she knew, JW plopped three worms into her ice tea. 

"Here, let's give them a drink," he said. "They won't drink a lot, just a yiddle bit!"

"Little boys leave smudges on your heart." 
                                         ~ Art Moms

Don't you love precious moments like these that enrich our lives? Do you write them down so you can read them years later and chuckle all over again?

Sometimes we're too busy to stop and jot it down, thinking we'll remember what happened with no problem. Do you know how many memories I've lost because I didn't put it in writing? More than I realize. Those memories fade with each passing day until they're gone forever.

I'm so glad I recorded some of the funny incidents that happened not with only my own kids, but with my nieces, nephews, and friends' kids. I get the biggest kick out of reading them nowadays.

Speaking of nowadays, last week JW graduated high school with high honors. He plans to become an engineer. The academic awards he's garnered are too long to list, but let me say I'm awfully proud of this kid!

I think his parents (and all those who have raised a son) can relate to this quote:

"Like the changing leaves of fall, my little boy is now a man."
                                                                   ~ Author Unknown

JW's senior picture

Congratulations, JW, on a job well done. Let the next journey begin!

Do you have a parenting or grandparenting memory

or another story you'd like to share? 

If you're not a parent, memories from your own childhood count, too! 

Warning: I might feature your story in a future post. 
(Names can be changed to protect the guilty!)

I'd like to thank all those who have shared their stories. 
These posts wouldn't be the same without your input.

If you don't want to leave a comment but would rather contact me by email, 
here's my address: lynkelwoohoo at yahoo dot com.

Dear Readers - I've received some nasty spam comments, and at least one was emailed to some of my followers. I apologize if you received that. I had changed my settings to make it easier for those who aren't on Blogger to leave a comment. 
Unfortunately, I now need to require commenters to type in a code before comments are published. You are still able to leave an anonymous comment, but will need to verify the code. I apologize for any inconvenience. 

Hopefully, this will prevent any more spam bots.

Please know that I treasure your comments and I appreciate the time you take to leave them. 

(A version of these stories originally appeared in the Highland Community News in 1998.)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Graduation Poem - To Dream

It's graduation time in California. My writer friend, Alanna Heck, wrote a poem inspired by the song Impossible Dream by Joe Darion.

Alanna teaches special ed and learning disabled students in grades 8 through 12. For them, graduation from high school is extra sweet, considering they had to work much harder than most and overcame many challenges to reach this stellar milestone.

To Dream
by Alanna Heck

A dream unreachable held tightly in your grasp,
A hard-won fight against a once unbeatable foe,
A climb up a mountain once thought impassable,
Arriving at a place you weren't sure you could go.

With weary arms you never gave up your quest,
Even during the times the journey seemed too far;
Holding on to a dream that you'd beat the odds,
Daring to imagine your hands could catch a star.

And for all who are true to this glorious quest,
Possibilities abound like spring in full bloom,
And the world transforms into a better place,
A beautiful tapestry you weave on your loom.

Here's a YouTube video of Elvis Presley singing Impossible Dream

Have you reached any goals by overcoming great odds or been inspired by someone who did? How did you feel?

Monday, June 11, 2012

Pajama Day Sans Undies - Parenting Plights & Delights

When my nephew Joker was in kindergarten, his class had a Pajama/Pancake party on the last day of school. The family was leaving for summer vacation that day, but Joker had been so excited about the party the whole month prior to it that my sister Cindy didn't want to deprive him of the fun he'd been looking forward to. She decided they'd get a late start on their trip. 

That morning, Joker bounded into the kitchen in his favorite cartoon jamies. "Got your shoes and socks on? Cindy asked.

"Yep," Joker answered. 

"Did you brush your teeth?"

"Yes," he replied, flashing a smile. 

"Got your underwear on?" she asked.

"NO! You don't wear underwear with pajamas."

"Well, you do if you're wearing them to school."

"I'm not going if I have to wear underwear," Joker insisted, folding his arms as he took a stance. After awhile, he asked, "Do you think the other kids are wearing underwear?"

"I'm sure they will be," Cindy said. "Do you want me to go around and check each kid?" 

"Yes," he answered, thinking his mother was serious.

Cindy told him to march back in his room and get his underwear on.

"No way," Joker said. "Mrs. Keimlick said we're not to wear underwear." 

Cindy could hardly contain her laughter. She knew the teacher would get a kick out of that. "Do you want me to call the other kids' parents to see if they're sending their children to school with underwear?"

"Yeah," he said.

Cindy was going to pretend to call, but then decided to call one mother that was a good friend, just to give her a good chuckle. 

"Wendy, this is Cindy. Is Grant wearing underwear under his pajamas today?"

"We're arguing about that right now," Wendy said. 

Cindy couldn't believe it. As it turned out, Grant did wear his underwear to school that day, but Joker chose to miss out on a great party rather than wear underwear under his pajamas. So, the family got an early start on their vacation!

Do you have a parenting or grandparenting memory
or another story you'd like to share? 
If you're not a parent, memories from your own childhood count, too! 

Warning: I might feature your story in a future post. 
(Names can be changed to protect the guilty!)

I'd like to thank all those who have shared their stories. 
These posts wouldn't be the same without your input.

If you don't want to leave a comment but would rather contact me by email, 
here's my address: lynkelwoohoo at yahoo dot com.

(The name Joker is a nickname.)
(A version of this story originally appeared in the Highland Community News in June 1998.)