Monday, March 28, 2011

10 Things Women Do That Men Don't Understand (a counterpost)

Well, the backlash from the previous post about what women don't understand about men was fairly minimal but I did hear murmurings around the office. I think it was quiet murmurings and not boisterous confrontation because they thought we women would try to justify every issue they mentioned, (and yes, for the record, we did try). But I know we females are complex creatures and the simple mind cannot understand the labyrinth through which we operate. But in all fairness I will put voice to their confusion. I will also refrain from exposing what female attribute they claim seems to have the power over men - I will, however say the brain was never mentioned.... you figure it out.

I will also try and not to give my own commentary - wait a minute- this is MY blog, I can spin this any direction I buckle up, here we go!

10 Things Women Do That Men Don't Understand (in no particular order) The woman's explanation is in pink.
1.  New Outfits. Particularly why a new outfit is needed for any kind of event, even if the people there have never even seen ANY of our outfits. Because we need/want to feel our best and a new outfit sends endorphins to our brains to give us super's scientifically based, look it up.

2.   Why they don't like explosions. They said this and then laughed maniacally.And........I got nothing, blowing stuff up,..........truly makes no sense to me.
3.   The appeal of shoes. No explanation needed. Really? a man that has every gadget in the known universe and you are going to complain about a truly important piece of protective clothing? Even Barbie knew shoes were important, ever see a Barbie whose shoes were missing? The poor girl has holes in the bottoms of her feet.

4.   The obsession about the toilet seat. Up? Down? whose responsibility is it? Well, seeing that the seat needs to be down 75% of the time then the default answer should be down....what can I say? Numbers don't lie.
5.   Not wanting the man to solve our problems. Why when a woman is telling a man about her problems, she doesn't want him to FIX it, just listen. Seriously, how hard is this concept men? At birth you were issued two ears and one mouth, just LISTEN, most times we have it all figured out by the end of the rant anyway.

6.   Why women go to the bathroom in packs. Duh, it's in case we need help from falling in after some inconsiderate man has left the seat up.
7.   Why it takes women so long to get ready. Smiles.....because we have so many choices of shoes from which to pick, and just an fyi - if we ask which ones look best, more often than not you will be wrong.
8.    Asking a man to do a chore and then redoing it when he's finished. I'm just zipping my lip on this one.
9.    Equal Rights. In the sense that women want equal pay, equal recognition but still expect the guy to pay for things when out on a date. We don't expect it all the time, but maybe the first few times out it would be nice, and by the way, a few text conversations or watching you have a marathon xbox gaming session, does NOT count as a night out......just sayin'

10.  How women can go shopping for hours and not buy anything. It all goes back to equal pay, we just go to dream and plan for that first date when you are willing to buy us something, we need to have a plan. And we will probably mention all the nifty things we saw that we liked, but did not buy, hint: make note of them for later use.
(and a few more for good measure)
11.  Why do women say not to buy them a gift and then get upset when you don't. Because deep down we know you love us so much you would WANT to buy us something, and we have a list of things we've probably mentioned. (see item 10)
12.  Why does a woman always think she's right even when you can prove she's not. Because the facts may be in dispute at the moment, but at some point the facts may change and she will be ready to point them out.
13.  Why a vacation has to be packed with things to do and not just for relaxing. Because you may never, ever have this opportunity again and you need to take advantage of it.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

10 Things Guys Do That Women Just Don't Understand

Let me start by saying this is in no way a man bashing post. During some discussion amongst the women in my office it became clear that there are just some things men do that make no sense to us.

And although this list is in by nooooo way complete, this list contains those that seem to run fairly straight across the board. And before all you haters start in on all the things women do, let me just say, I'm aware we are not perfect and I'd be willing to let you post a reply as long as it is not offensive.
(Disclaimer: pictures are purely representative not accusatory)

So here goes:
10 Things Guys Do That Women Just Don't Understand
(in no particular order)
1.  The Al Bundy pose.  Watching tv with their hand in their pants

2. Walking around the house in their underwear. We all agreed, guys, if you are trying to seduce ain't working, put your pants on. (to protect small children and from losing our lunch, no picture inserted here)

3.  Babysitting. Thinking they deserve a gold star for "babysitting" their own children. Really guys, it's not babysitting, it's called PARENTING.

4.  Finding humor in flatulence. Yes, it's a natural phenomenon, but it's not funny. And holding our heads under the covers or sitting on top of another person while doing it - that's just wrong. But I suppose the gene that makes you do that is the same one that finds slapstick humor such as the Three Stooges-funny.

5. Driving Impatience. This would be sitting at a red light with the foot on the gas and the brake, inching up a bit at a time like you are John Force on the line waiting for the green.

6.  Channel surfing.  Not channel surfing like just trying to find something to watch, no- channeling surfing because, heaven forbid a commercial is on. And then the male ADD kicks in when something shiny appears on another channel and we wonder if we are even going to see the rest of the original program.
7.  Reading directions or instructions - or rather NOT reading them. Leaving us to shake our heads and bite our tongues as they grouse about how they don't know what happened and why it's not working properly.

8.  Death grip on the television remote. Holding the remote like it's Excalibur emitting forth it's magical powers and further proving he is the true king of the household.

9.  Putting empty items back into the cupboard or refrigerator. This truly is one of life's little questions. Why would one do that? Since we as women seem to be the only ones that know the super secret location of the grocery store, it would be helpful to know if something needs to be replaced.
Yes, enough here to put back in the 'fridge

10.  Man eyes. Simply put, this is looking for something, not being able to find it, assuming it is the evil plan of whatever woman is in the vicinity and throwing up one's hands in disgust at the disappearance of said item. It is genuinely using their man eyes when the guilty (or not) woman looks in plain sight, retrieves said item, usually without nary a word and walks away.

Monday, March 21, 2011

ROCK CHALK!!!! - an explanation of the Jayhawk and other things

As a mother of two sons, both of which attended or are presently attending the University of Kansas, the Jayhawks and all surrounding them have become embedded in our family. We have spent time in Lawrence, Kansas and absolutely love the town. I do not hesitate in the least to say that we will forever have crimson and blue blood running through our veins. The hype, the hullabaloo, the hurrah surrounding KU athletics is now a part of who we are and what we do. I thought maybe I should take a minute and explain a few things about the beloved Jayhawks since we are on our to the sweet 16.

1912 Jayhawk
Mascots are believed to bring good luck, especially to athletic teams. KU is home of the Jayhawk, a mythical bird with a fascinating history. Its origin is rooted in the historic struggles of Kansas settlers. The term "Jayhawk" was probably coined about 1848. Accounts of its use appeared from Illinois to Texas. The name combines two birds-the blue jay, a noisy, quarrelsome thing known to rob nests, and the sparrow hawk, a stealthy hunter. The message here: Do not turn your back on this bird.
1920 Jayhawk
During the 1850's, the Kansas Territory was filled with such Jayhawks. The area was a battleground between those wanting a state where slavery would be legal and those committed to a Free State. The factions looted, sacked, rustled cattle, and otherwise attacked each other's settlements. For a time, ruffians on both sides were called Jayhawkers. But the name stuck to the free staters. Lawrence, where KU would be founded, was a Free State stronghold.
1923 Jayhawk
During the Civil War, the Jayhawk's ruffian image gave way to patriotic symbol. Kansas Governor Charles Robinson raised a regiment called the Independent Mounted Kansas Jayhawkers. By war's end, Jayhawks were synonymous with the impassioned people who made Kansas a Free State. In 1886, the bird appeared in a cheer-the Rock Chalk Chant. When KU football players first took the field in 1890, it seemed natural to call them Jayhawkers.

How do you draw a Jayhawk? For years, that question stumped fans. Henry Maloy, a cartoonist for the student newspaper, drew a memorable version of the Jayhawk (top left) in 1912. He gave it shoes. Why? For kicking opponents, of course.

In 1920, a more somber bird (top right), perched on a KU monogram, came into use. In 1923, Jimmy O'Bryon and George Hollingbery designed a duck-like Jayhawk (second image on left). About 1929, Forrest O. Calvin drew a grim-faced bird (near right) sporting talons that could maim. In 1941, Gene "Yogi" Williams opened the Jayhawk's eyes and beak (left), giving it a contentious look.
It is student Harold D. Sandy's 1946 design of a smiling Jayhawk (left) that survives. The design purchased from Sandy and was copyrighted in 1947 by the KU Bookstores. The University of Kansas later registered the design as its official service-mark and it is still one of the most recognizable and unique collegiate mascots in the country.

Information is from "Traditions", published by the KU Office of University Relations.

As the most popular sport with the University's students and alumni alike, Jayhawk basketball has a pedigree unlike that of any other KU athletic team.

It can boast among it  coaches the sport's inventor, James Naismith, as well as the man widely regarded as the father of basketball coaching, Forrest  "Phog" Allen. It can count among its heroes any number of dominant players including Wilt Chamberlain, whom some regard as the greatest basketball player ever.

These names are backed up by the numbers: The Jayhawks lay claim to four national championships and have won nearly 30 more conference titles than any of its conference foes.

Some of the success of the men's team has spilled over to the women Jayhawks who can boast one of the greatest collegiate women's players of all time in Lynette Woodard.

Surprisingly, perhaps, basketball was not always the most popular sport on campus. At different times both football and track could have claimed that distinction. Even Naismith conceded in 1910 that he had "always believed that football was the typical college game." Thus the team grew to national dominance rather quietly. Its first NCAA Tournament title in 1952, however, ensured that the sport would no longer remain an afterthought on Mt. Oread.

In 1988, its fifth Final Four appearance since 1952, KU succeeded in claiming its second NCAA Tournament title. The 1990s saw the University boast the best winning percentage in college basketball and reach the national semifinals of the NCAA Tournament twice, even advancing to play for the national title once. However, the decade might best be remembered by KU basketball fans for a series of tournament letdowns that characterized the latter half of the 1990s.

Nonetheless, the Jayhawks continue to be title contenders at the dawn of the 21st century. The Jayhawks of 2001-02 and 2002-03 were the eleventh and twelfth KU basketball teams to reach the Final Four. (find more of this article at The History Of KU)

The Chant

KU's world famous Rock Chalk Chant evolved from a cheer that a chemistry professor, E.H.S. Bailey, created for the KU science club in 1886.

Bailey's version was "Rah, Rah, Jayhawk, KU" repeated three times. The rahs were later replaced by "Rock Chalk," a transposition of chalk rock, the name for the limestone outcropping found on Mount Oread, site of the Lawrence campus.
The cheer became known worldwide. Teddy Roosevelt pronounced it the greatest college chant he'd ever heard. Legend has it that troops used the chant when fighting in the Philippines in 1899, in the Boxer Rebellion in China, and in World War II. At the Olympic games in 1920, the King of Belgium asked for a typical American college yell. The assembled athletes agreed on KU's Rock Chalk and rendered it for His Majesty.

And now for some funstuff:


Test your skill by turning this origami Jayhawk into an inspirational figure. Download and print out Hawkigami himself and the instructions by clicking below.

KU EcoHawk Car

Click on the download below to send this fuel-efficient car driving to your desktop. Print it out, cut the pieces and assemble for your own replica EcoHawk. The instructions are on the PDF download  be sure to have a good pair of scissors and tape handy. To learn more about KU's EcoHawk project,
visit the official project Website.

Download EcoHawk!

(248KB PDF)
Just a word about this project, I am building one, notice I did not say "built" as I finally just decided to take a break and it sits on my desk very much unfinished. This project is not for the weak of heart or scissor challenged. Oh and follow the instructions.......I'm just sayin'

Saturday, March 19, 2011

QR codes: An addiction waiting to happen (to both scanning and Roy's)

At ESSDACK we have been using QR codes in our marketing efforts to catch a few of those savvy smart phone users that have the barcode scanner apps installed. Our social media princess, Jaime (Life as a Digital Mom) has been trying to think of new and exciting ways to encourage, lure or just plain trick people into reading and exploring our sites, newsletters and blogs. Her latest attempt was that of placing a "secret" QR code and making it a game to see who could name it the quickest. I was honored that the first one she chose was a link to one of my blog entries and referenced it on my facebook page.

I suppose I should not have been surprised when I started getting the questions about what is a QR code and how do I make it work? First let me regurgitate the info on what exactly a QR code is, instead of trying to wax eloquently about it, I will just reference an explanation (from that is very clear and concise:

What is a QR code?
A QR Code is a two-dimensional barcode, which has encoded in it a URL (web address), text, or other information. It can be read by a QR code scanner, including QR scanner smartphone apps.
How can I read a QR code?
If you have a smartphone, go to the app store and search for a QR code reader. You’ll find several free apps. Run the app and then hold your phone’s camera over a QR code to read it. Most QR codes you’ll come across have a URL encoded, so chances are when you read the QR code it will take you to a web page.
What’s the point of QR codes?
QR codes link offline information to online content, effectively providing additional information and even multimedia to an offline experience. If you’ve created print material that included a URL for more information, a QR code for that URL could also be added to enable smartphone users to go directly to that web page without having to type in the web address.

So I decided to create one (I used kaywa) and demonstrate how simple to create and how simple to read.

This code takes you to one of my very favorite places to eat, Roy's Hickory Pit BBQ, here in Hutchinson, Kansas. (Thank you Kevin Honeycutt for the awesome picture of Roy's ribs) People come from all over the US and I suspect foreign countries to eat there. It's small but packs a huge punch in the taste and satisfaction department, and Anne and Ryan are two of the friendliest people you'll ever meet. You can sit in the dining area at a table or gather like the family you'll be, around the big round table in the front. A word of warning, be prepared to smell like the scent of smoked ribs the rest of the day and don't be surprised when no matter where you go the rest of the day, you will see people sniff the air around you and tell you how jealous they are because they KNOW you had lunch at Roy's. Smelly? yes, Blissful? Absolutely. Too bad I can't embed the aroma into the code, you'd be hooked for sure.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

St. Patrick's Day Facts and Trivia (and happy birthday to my friend Frankie!)

St. Patrick's Day, a day when suddenly everyone claims to be or wants to be Irish. I've always thought I would have liked to be Irish or Scottish, maybe it's the accent or maybe it happened after viewing the Wizard of Oz. Those lollipop guild people remind me of little leprechauns and then the similarities between the rainbow.....yellow brick road........coincidence? you decide......but are some thoughts and facts gathered in remembrance of this wacky day of celebration.
An Irish Friendship Wish

May there always be work for your hands to do;
May your purse always hold a coin or two;
May the sun always shine on your windowpane;
May a rainbow be certain to follow each rain;
May the hand of a friend always be near you;
May God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.
Universally regarded as a symbol of good fortune (in reality, a horticultural anomaly), the four-leaf clover is often thought to represent "the luck of the Irish." But that's a bit of blarney. The shamrock, or seamróg in Gaelic (meaning "young clover"), is the national plant of the Emerald Isle, but it has only three leaves.

And there isn't just one type: Many types of clover are considered shamrocks. Test your friends with this four-leaf-clover trivia over a pint of green beer on Saint Patrick's Day. The four-leaf clover achieved "lucky" status because the ancient Celtic druids viewed it as a sign of good luck. According to legend, during the fifth century, Saint Patrick used the shamrock to teach the Celts about the Holy Trinity. The three leaves attached to a single stem represented the unity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit in one God. If Saint Patrick came across a four-leaf clover, he used the extra leaf to represent "God's grace."

The Chicago River, dyed
green for St. Patrick's Day.

There are 3.8 million people in Ireland, but when Saint Patrick's Day is celebrated on March 17, it seems that the whole world turns Irish.
The day commemorates Patrick, who brought Christianity to Ireland in the Fifth Century.
Although not an official holiday in the United States, St. Patrick's Day has a long history of being celebrated with parades and general goodwill toward all things Irish, or at least Irish-American.
(Translation: green beer, corned beef and cabbage and Irish soda bread).
The Irish who immigrated to the United States brought the traditions of the home land with them. Many who fled the poverty, famine and unrest landed on the shores of North America. In the US today, there are 33.7 million residents who claim Irish ancestry. This number is almost nine times the population of Ireland itself.

Some more Irish-American numbers...
156,000 - U.S. residents born in Ireland, which was among the top 10 countries of birth among the foreign-born population as recently as 1970.
373,000 - Tourists and business travelers from "the old sod" who visit the United States annually.
$24 billion - The value of U.S. imports from the Republic of Ireland during a recent 10-month period (January-October 2005). Meanwhile, the United States exported $7.5 billion worth of goods to Ireland.
22 - Gallons of beer consumed per capita by Americans annually. Some establishments offer beer dyed green in honor of St. Patrick's Day.
9 - Number of places in the United States which share the name of Dublin, Ireland's capital city. Dublin, Ohio, was the most populous, at 31,392, followed closely by Dublin, California, at 29,973.
4 - Number of places in the United States named Shamrock, the floral emblem of Ireland. Mount Gay-Shamrock, West Virginia and Shamrock, Texas, were the most populous, with 2,623 and 2,029 residents, respectively. Shamrock Lakes, Indiana had 168 residents and Shamrock, Oklahoma, 125.
If you're still not into the spirit of St. Paddy's Day after stopping by one of the places named "Shamrock" or "Dublin," then you might consider paying a visit to Emerald Isle, North Carolina, with 3,488 residents, of whom in a ratio of 1-in-6 are of Irish descent. 

Fun Facts about the Irish
34 million Americans have Irish ancestry, according to the 2003 US Census. That’s almost nine times the population of Ireland, which has 4.1 million people.
Nine of the people who signed our Declaration Of Independence were of Irish origin, and nineteen Presidents of the United States proudly claim Irish heritage -- including our first President, George Washington.
Some American towns have “Irish” names. You could visit: Mount Gay-Shamrock, West Virginia; Shamrock Lakes, Indiana; Shamrock, Oklahoma; Shamrock, Texas; Dublin, California and Dublin, Ohio.
The harp is the symbol of Ireland. The color green is also commonly associated with Ireland, also known as “the Emerald Isle.”
The Irish flag is green, white and orange. The green symbolizes the people of the south, and orange, the people of the north. White represents the peace that brings them together as a nation.
The name “leprechaun” has several origins. It could be from the Irish Gaelic word “leipreachan,” which means “a kind of aqueous sprite.” Or, it could be from “leath bhrogan,” which means “shoemaker.”

Fun Facts about Clovers
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the highest number of leaves found on a clover is 14.
One estimate suggests that there are about 10,000 regular three-leaf clovers for every lucky four-leaf clover.
Legend says that each leaf of the clover means something: the first is for hope, the second for faith, the third for love and the fourth for luck.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Third Round Mascot Bracketology - Super Hero or Cartoon Character

When picking a very scientific method to predict the winners of my third round picks (based of course on my second round picks) I decided to use a not-so-well-known method of which mascot would make a good super hero or cartoon character. Why you ask? ----->this is me shrugging<----- because I can..... so, here goes....
Ala St. Hornets vs George Mason Patriots- goes to the Hornets.......ummm, Green Hornet? duh
West Virginia Mountaineers vs. Kentucky Wildcats - hmmm, this was a little tougher, neither really fits the criteria so I chose the Mountaineers, simply because it made me think of the cartoon with the Saint Bernard with the little keg around his neck and the mountain climber.
Xavier Muskateers vs. Indian St. Sycamores - once again, a tree. A tree? really? not funny for a cartoon and no detectable super powers, da da da dummmmm and in swooped in the mighty Sycamores to save the day! no, doesn't work, win goes to the Muskateers (besides I love their candy bar)
Washington Huskies vs. Long Island Blackbirds - I'm so laughing remember (yes, I'm old) the magpies Heckle and Jeckle? So the win goes to the Blackbirds

Hampton Pirates and Michigan Wolverines - oh course, Hugh Jackman? the Wolverines
Memphis Tigers vs Oakland Golden Grizzlies - my first inclination is to say that the Golden Grizzlies reminds me the Golden girls which is similar to a bad cartoon......but I'm going to have to have to go with the Tigers because I also think of Tony the Tiger who is really a representative for Kellogg's Frosted Flakes but a cartoon none-the-less.
Cincinnati Bearcats vs Connecticut Huskies - neither really jump out at me as a clear choice so I'm going to go with the Bearcats. My reason being is the bearcat reminds me mercat that little animal, Timon, in Lion King.
Temple Owls vs San Diego St Aztecs - Owl, I can think of two right off the top of my head, the Owl in Winnie the Pooh, aptly named....uh, Owl and the owl in the commercial for tootsie pops, that says, How many licks to get to the middle of a tootsie pop? so the winner is the Owls. And by the way, the answer is 3.
Kansas Jayhawks vs UNLV Running Rebels - I pick the Jayhawks because they remind me of the Kellogg's Fruit Loop bird.

Richmond Spiders vs Louisville Cardinals - easy peezy, Spiderman. so Spiders
USC Trojans vs Purdue Boilermakers - gotta go with the Little Engine That Could on this one. Boiler UP! Boilermakers
Texas A&M Aggies vs Notre Dame Fighting Irish - laughing, appropriately for this time of year, gotta pick the Irish. And how can they lose? I'm reminded of the Lucky Charms Leprechaun, they are magically delicious! Fighting Irish

UALR Trojans vs Old Dominion Monarchs - What IS IT with all the Trojans? The market is flooded with them this year? But I'm going with the Monarchs, which is actually a lion. And maybe it's a stretch but thinking of the Lion from the Wizard of Oz. Oh, and I like that song, ooooo wee doooo oooo the jungle the mighty jungle, the lion sleeps tonight.
You can thank me later for getting that song stuck in your head, giggle giggle.
Kansas State Wildcats vs Wisconsin Badgers - The wildcats are purple and Snagglepuss is pink so I've got to go with the Wildcats. Not very manly but my pick anyway.

Gonzaga Zags vs BYU Cougars - Ok, this may be a stretch but I'm going with Tom from Tom and Jerry, he is actually a regular housecat but I'm sure he most likely descended from a long line of different larger cats and quite possibly a cougar was among them. Win to Cougars

Michigan St Spartans vs UC Santa Barbara Gauchos- In the realm of superheros I suppose a Spartan would classify as some sort of superhero, no real powers but when I think of Gaucho I think of the guys sitting around the campfire in Blazing Saddles and I'm sorry but superhero material, they are not. Victory to the Spartans.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Lions and Tigers and Bears- Oh My! Mascot Bracketology 2011 version- Let's Dance!


Last year I did my bracketology according to the team mascots and which on could eat the other one. This year I am sticking with the mascot as the pivotal ingredient in the first round of predictions, but changing it up by choosing according to:
Which mascot could win in a face off pirate-type sword fight?
Yes, I'm pretty sure that is totally scientific. But of course you must also remember, it's my blog, my predictions so it's my logic, which at times isn't very logical at all. So without further ado, here we go:

Ohio St Buckeyes-(either UTSA Road Runners or Ala. St Hornets) -First of all I have never seen a dead Road Runner on the road, so obviously they are elusive and I HAVE seen dead hornets, even killed a few myself.....but wielding a sword? Buckeyes.....a seedling, seriously? a seedling? no out.....and can a hornet even lift a pirate sword? but road runners can't fly, so they'd be stabbing at feet.....the win goes to the HORNETS
George Mason Patriots vs. Villanova Wildcats - generally I'd have to go with the wildcats simply because the Patriots sounds kinda lame but in this case......a Patriot is closer to an actual pirate (even kinda dress in a similar fashion) then a wildcat so the prediction is the Patriots
West Virginia Mountaineers vs. (UAB Blazers or Clemson Tigers) ok, Blazer? wasn't even sure what that was, it apparently is a dragon, a green dragon which reminded me of Puff the Magic Dragon so I'm thinking he is probably........shall we say.......mellow.....probably more interested in finding a bag of cheetos than putting up a fight, which leads me to choose between the Mountianeers and the Tigers. Mountaineers are used to swinging that pick axe and are strong and burly, and Tigers are fierce but Clemson is orange......I hate the color orange, so this win goes to the Mountaineers.
Kentucky Wildcats vs. Princeton Tigers This is a tough one, neither is really suited to wield a pirate sword, so how to decide? This was my logic - Pirates drink rum, an alcoholic beverage, Kentucky is famous for Bourbon, an alcoholic beverage, Tigers? the best they can do is be turned to butter in the book, Little Black Sambo........although, buttered rum is considered a tasty treat, I'm going to have to go with the Wildcats.
Xavier Musketeers vs. Marquette Golden Eagles - well, this might seem quite obvious, I always envision musketeers being very similar to a pirate, however, it's a foot soldier armed with a musket.....and then there are pictures of the 3 musketeers in which the guys all seemed rather what to do? But really since musketeers actually have hands to hold a sword, I'm going to have to choose the Musketeers
Syracuse Orangemen vs. Indiana St. Sycamores- ok, originally the mascot for Indiana St was the "fighting teachers" wow, just wow.......maybe they should be in Wisconsin.....just sayin'........anyway they changed it to the Sycamores because why? because a fighting tree is so much more scary? please.....but the Orangemen are... well........ oranges..... so this is a tough one for me, I don't like fruit, I don't like the color orange, so I guess I will choose the VERY FIERCE, tree. I pick the Sycamores, like it matters........
Washington Huskies vs. Georgia Bulldogs - oh, talk about dog eat dog.......the huskies are definitely cuter and probably less apt to suffer some sort of heart failure under extreme physical exertion but bulldogs are tenacious. But in a sword fight between the two.......I'm going to have to go with the Huskies they are taller and I think they could wield a sword with their tail if need be.
North Carolina Tarheels vs. Long Island Blackbirds - first of all, a tarheel is a native of North Carolina......really? that as a mascot? I am picturing Elmo sitting on his porch with a moonshine jug, cleaning his shotgun and lamenting about when he used to have teeth. And Blackbirds, when the world is long gone, the only thing remaining will be all the dumb black birds so the win goes to the Blackbirds.

Kansas Jayhawks vs. Boston Terriers - OMGOSH, a boston terrier? What is he going to yip yip until our ears bleed? Nope the mighty Jayhawk will win, wielding the sword in his strong Jayhawk talons, or better yet, ditch the sword and just pierce the unsuspecting hearts of the little terrier boys. I choose the Crimson and Blue Jayhawks, Rock Chalk Baby! What? Who? Me? biased, nah......
UNLV Running Rebels vs Illinois Fighting Illini- I don't even like saying makes me grimace, for that fact alone, I choose the Running Rebels.
Vanderbilt Commodores vs. Richmond Spiders-
wow, all I can picture is Lionel Richie singing "Sail On" or "Nightshift" and then my mind races to a picture of Charlotte from Charlotte's Web. So I'm thinking the spider is one smart animal and even though in theory the Commodores could hold a sword, I'm banking on the one that can weave the words, 'some pig' in silk that is literally pulled out of it's butt. Spiders
Louisville Cardinals vs Morehead St. Eagles - Birds of a feather......hmmmm, how to choose, I don't even know who or where Morehead is - the win goes to the Cardinals.
Georgetown Hoya vs (USC Trojans or VCU Rams)- ok, their mascot is the bulldog, but Hoya doesn't mean bulldog, so based on the fact they are trying to defraud us, they are out, and between the Trojans and the Rams......Trojans are fighters and can hold the sword, Rams, they have sissy horns that are curved, not even pointed for impaling. Trojans 
Purdue Boilermakes vs St. Peter's Peacocks - although Peacocks have a nasty temperment I cannot hold a sword. I'm thinking though you could attach a sword to the front of the Boilermaker engine and plow over the stupid peacock, who's proud now, Mr. Peter Peacock? Win goes to Boilermakers 
Texas A&M Aggies vs. Florida St Seminoles - can't let color influence because they are both crimson ( I like that better than burgandy, burgandy reminds me of Will Farrel in Anchorman) so it comes down to the Farmer vs the Indian. Well, we still have crazy farmers in this country and do not have wild Indians, so I'm going with the Aggies.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs Akron Zips - ok, soooo confused. The zip is short for zippers which is a type of overshoe.....and their mascot is a kangaroo. And I can't even think about the word zip without thinking of that stuffed monkey from yesteryear with the plastic banana in his hand and molded tennis shoes on his feet.  And although the kangaroo thing is super cool and I think I might even pay money to see a drunk Irishmen fighting a Kangaroo in a sword fight, I think I'm going to have to go with the Fighting Irish.

Duke Blue Devils vs. Hampton Pirates - I do not even know who Hampton is but this is a no brainer, the Pirates.
Michigan Wolverines vs Tennessee Volunteers - ordinarily I would need to pick the Volunteers even though that is another dumb name for a mascot- seriously, do they just all get together for a hoe down and then let the drunk guy pick the mascot names? But, Volunteers do have arms and can theoretically hold a sword BUT! they are by default (and that I liked the movie, Red Dawn), the win will go to the Wolverines.
Arizona Wildcats vs Memphis Tigers - wow, another wildcat/tiger match up, how can I pick? This was my rationale -yes, there is some rationale in my process - the colors for the two teams Arizona - red, white and blue, although patriotic, the Memphis Tigers are Blue and Gold, pirates are in search of gold therefore being more like pirates, the pick is the Tigers.
Texas Longhorns vs Oakland Golden Grizzlies- Have you been to the circus lately? Bears are trainable, I think if you gave them a sword they would be eating longhorn steaks for dinner. And then of course......the Texas color is orange, 'nuff said. The victory will go to the Golden Grizzlies. 
Cincinnati Bearcats vs. Missouri Tigers - I actually had to look up what the heck a bearcat is, and it is not a bear at all, more like a big cat, but lives in asian countries, eats mostly fruits and to me,  kinda looked like a raccoon in the face. However he has a totally prehensile tail, which means he can wield things with it. Can a tiger do that? I think not, I choose the Bearcats.
Connecticut Huskies vs. Bucknell Bison-  since neither of these is going to be any good at a pirate fight and I see no connection to pirates what so ever, I had to find different logic. In this case, Huskies are cuter, they pull sleds and are able to stand extreme weather conditions. Bison are big and stupid, anything that just stands there and let's themselves become extinct by the hands of a people shooting them with bows and arrows, deserve to go home in the first round, my pick is the Huskies. 
Temple Owls vs Penn St Nittany Lions -  neither the owl or the lion can hold a sword so I chose in this way, Nittany Lion? what the heck it just sounds like a little sissy lion and an owl? well he can turn his head almost all the way around, how cool is that? So I choose the Owls based solely on the creepy cool factor.
San Diego St Aztecs vs. Northern Colo Bears - I'm thinking that an Aztec is a warrior, bred to fight and could probably poke a hole in a Bear pretty easily. So for that reason I choose the Aztecs.

Pittsburgh Panthers vs (UNC Ash Bulldogs or UALR Trojans - Ok, we have a sleek, big cat against either a fat, very ugly dog or a Warrior dressed in a skirt. Really have you ever thought about that......armor, helmet and a skirt? Talk about what not to wear...... anyway, the Trojan has arms even if he is kinda girly with the skirt thing going on so I'm going with the Trojans.
Butler Bulldogs vs Old Dominion Monarchs- So you might be wondering what kind of Monarch? Is is a butterfly or even ruler of a government which is a hereditary title? No, in this case, the mascot representing the Monarchs is a Lion. So once again we have an overweight, smashed up face dog and he is facing a lion. I'm thinking even if the lion cannot fight using the sword, his claws would be like tiny little sabres and shred the bowlegged dog before he knew what hit him, win goes to the Monarchs.
Kansas State Wildcats vs. Utah St Aggies - Are you kidding me? A farmer vs a wildcat? A farmer might be able to hold and handle that sword but the crafty wildcat will pounce from behind and sever the jugular before the farmer knows what hit him. Yep, I'm going with the Wildcats.
Wisconsin Badgers vs. Belmont Bruins - We don't need no stinkin' badgers......oh wait, that's badges, never mind. Wisconsin.....they have had a tumultuous year, and the Bruins, fancy name for a bear - just call it a bear already would you? I would say these teams are fairly divided in the pirate sword competition but since Belmont ( I can't even say, Belmont without sounding like Mr. Howell from Gilligan's Island), has to be all fancy and call themselves the "Bruins" I am rooting for the Badgers. Badger - it just sounds fiesty.
St. John's NY Red Storm vs Gonzaga Zags- who knew? a zag is the name but they are the......yes, you guessed it, another BULLDOG. After some research I have discovered that the mascot is actually the Thunderbird..that isn't even real.....if you are going to choose a mascot that totally has nothing to do with your names at least it should be real. I mean the Bulldog is ugly but does actually exist so I'm choosing the Zags or  Bulldogs.
BYU Cougars vs Wofford Terriers - The sleek and stealthy cougar against a yappy, lapdog terrier? And seriously, who can say Wofford without thinking Judge Wapner? I hear Raymond from Rain Main, "Fifteen minutes until People's Court and Judge Wapner".. and I'm thinking the Terriers might need to take a road trip to KMart for new boxers after the Cougars take it to them in the first round. 
UCLA Bruins vs Michigan State Spartans - OK, sissy guy warrior in a skirt against the fancy name Bear/Bruins. Will Farrel made a great Spartan cheerleader in SNL so hope the Spartans bring it against UCLA, I'm sure Arianna and Craig will be cheering for them. Win goes to the Spartans
Florida Gators vs UC Santa Barbara Gauchos Really? Really? Gauchos?....they were bad as a fashion choice, they are bad as a mascot. But I know what you are thinking, Florida is orange and blue, ORANGE? I get blue - water but orange, what part of gator makes you think orange? I had decided that color alone was going to make me choose the fearless gauchos until I pulled up a picture of them on the site, seriously, what font is that on their uniforms, pretty weak.......but I still will choose the mighty, mighty gauchos.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Worry-Supermom's kryptonite

There have been songs sung about it, 
-Worry, why do I let myself worry- Patsy Cline

-Don't worry be happy
In every life we have some trouble
When you worry you make it double
Don't worry, be happy......
- Bobby McFerrin

-Worry worry worry
Worry is all I can do
Oh worry worry worry baby
Worry is all I can do
Oh my life is so miserable baby
Baby, and its all on account of you - B.B. King

Quotes written about it,
-Today is the tomorrow we worried about yesterday.  ~Author Unknown
-People gather bundles of sticks to build bridges they never cross.  ~Author Unknown
-A hundredload of worry will not pay an ounce of debt.  ~George Herbert
-Never bear more than one kind of trouble at a time.  Some people bear three - all they have had, all they have now, and all they expect to have.  ~Edward Everett Hale  
-I am an old man and I have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened -  Mark Twain

And books written about it, and wise men have pondered about it and the average person just.....well, worries about it.

"IT" -is WORRY.
Thank you Terri P. for the dramatization

What Is worry? Worry is a very strong feeling of anxiety. It’s fear of the unknown – the thought that the worst will happen. We may become overly concerned with future events. We may engage in repetitive negative self-talk with all the worst case scenarios. A lot of our thoughts will begin with …
“If only …
“What if …
I had a friend point out to me this week that I am a worrier, and I do a lot of what-if ing, this friend also brought to my attention that I can only do what I can then need to move on because over thinking is not going to make it any better. One of my favorite sayings is - Don't borrow trouble, live on what you already have." yet.......I do it ALL the time.

Everyone worries to various extents. It could be about something little, like what you think you got on a test, or something big, like getting a major surgery.
Do you worry so much that you worry about worrying too much? In the end, if you just worry about what's going to happen tomorrow, when will you have the time to live today?

What Do We Worry About?

-from the pick your brain website

When it comes to worry, studies have shown the following statistics:
40% never happens – so in essence we are wasting our time by worrying.
30% of what we worry about has already happened. Learn to “let go” and forgive yourself and others. You cannot change the past – no one can. Accept it for what it is and go on.
12% are needless worries, such as what someone else thinks about us.
10% are petty and unimportant such as we worry about what’s for dinner, we worry about being late, we worry about what to wear.
8% of what we worry about actually happens. Of this percentage…
4% of our worries that happen are beyond our control. We cannot change the outcome. These worries may include our health, the death of a loved one or an impending natural disaster. Often times the reality of these events are more bearable than the worry.
4% of what we worry about we have some if not all control over the results. Basically I think this is the consequences of our actions or inaction on the problems and challenges we face.
Given these statistics, you may find it worthwhile asking the following questions:
  • How many times do we work ourselves into frenzy over a situation that is beyond our control?
  • Why do we allow worry to stress us out so much that we become ill?
  • Why do we waste our mental energy with worry?
How to stop worrying and start living: from wikihow
1. Live in the moment, most of the time. Worrying is something we do when we think about bad things that might happen in the future. So the less you think about the future, the less you'll worry. Immediately stop the thought as soon as you recognize that you are worrying. The more you worry, the more worried you'll feel. Take out time for yourself.
2. Tackle your worries head-on, and swiftly. You can still anticipate problems and plan for them without necessarily worrying. The key is that when the worry enters your head, you immediately address or resolve it somehow, and then let it go.

If a worry enters your head at an inconvenient time, designate another time to address it. If you start thinking about house fires during your child's school play, for example, you might think to yourself "I'll go home and make a plan at 10p.m. when the kids are in bed. There's no use in thinking about it until then."

Another approach is to make a list of all the fears that worry you. Go through them, one by one, and make plans. Then...  

3. Move on. Once you develop a reasonable plan, and commit to following it, there's no need to dwell on the worry anymore. Let it go. The danger in worrying is when a scenario that you dread lingers in your head. Sure, you could always do more, like anticipating every possible outcome and taking every possible step to prevent each unwanted outcome from happening, but you'll spend your life preventing bad things from happening rather than enjoying the good things that have already happened. And you won't even be able to stop all bad things from happening, anyway!
  • Maybe you need to learn to be comfortable with risk. If you believe you've done enough to decrease the chances of something happening by, say, 85%, accept that as good enough. There are simply no guarantees in life.
4. Don't recycle the past. Many of the worries we have about the future are fears that the past will repeat itself. Whether it was heartbreak, or an injury, or a natural disaster, it haunts us and we want to do everything in our power from preventing it from happening again.

5. Stop trying to save the world. If you feel like it's your job or responsibility to stop bad things from happening (perhaps to your family, your business, or at all) you're placing too much pressure on yourself. There is such a thing as a hero complex, and you might have it. The thing is, you're only human, and to set yourself an unattainable standard will only cause pain and disappointment.

Perception is key. When you change your perception regarding a specific event, object, or issue: your attitude will change. Stress is associated with something when your mind perceives it as so. Remember, most things really don't have a true value unless our mind associates it with a psychological response. For example, the perception of money itself. Money is associated with a economic value because our mind was trained to respond it with a monetary value; otherwise, it's just a printed piece of paper.

Be more prepared for stuff, so you won't panic when that "stuff" happens.


Monday, March 07, 2011

Eight Ways to Get Happy

You know I think the Partridge Family might have been on to something when they sang the song, "Come On Get Happy." Sounds like a relatively simple thing but sometimes it becomes a monumental task to pull ourselves out of a dark rut of unhappiness. Now I do not necessarily equate unhappiness with sadness. I think a person can be unhappy and can turn it around with just a few minor changes in attitude, where as sadness sometimes runs fairly deep and might just need a wee bit more attention than a mind shift.

I was reading a couple of different articles on happiness and really liked a point made on the pluginid site he stated that 50 percent of our happiness is related directly to our genetics. which he notes that means that 50 percent of our happiness comes from what we can control.

I've pulled some ideas from several different places into what I think are some great ways to lift your spirits.
1. Mingle With Amazing People
Surround yourself with positive people, making a positive impact on the world around you. It doesn't have to be a major mover and shaker or someone traveling the world, it can be someone in your small circle of influence. Someone that makes a difference in the life of the child around the corner can be as uplifting as someone who works to better the life of a child half-way around the world.

Wasting our time with people who just want to bring us down, is simply that, a WASTE. We need to surround ourselves with people who want us to succeed and believe in us. The quality of our life is directly related to the quality of friends and family around us.

You are a product of your environment.

2. Accept What Is
We tend to waste so much time worrying and wondering, what if, what about this? WHAT IF we just moved on? We need to stop concentrating on past mistakes, past choices, and the past in general and focus on the now and plan for the future. One of my favorite quotes is, "Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending." - Carl Bard. We need to learn to embrace our imperfections and learn from them instead of just living in the punishment phase forever.

Never borrow trouble.

3. Befriend Failure
We all know someone (a boss, a co-worker, team mate, teacher, mentor, etc) that isn't exactly our best friend but we keep them around because they do teach us things. Failure is like that, although not the most pleasant person in the room, it is often the wisest. Instead of concentrating on our short comings we should use those as a spring board for growth.

Make the laughter outweigh the tears. 

4. Do Something You Love
We all have activities that we enjoy, something that just brings us pleasure. There is that one, that single little activity that just makes us smile or relax, we need to find that. Often times we let friends or family dictate what we should or should not enjoy doing. So if the activity is legal, we all need a little selfish time to indulge in the simple pleasures of life.

Be yourself.

5. Choose To Be Happy
Although we are surrounded by things that we cannot control, we have made many choices and decisions that bring us to the point we are right now. So we need to learn to accept that we've messed up and our present state might be a direct result of either taking or not taking certain actions. One of the most stifling things is to be paralyzed with the fear of making ANY decision. We need to learn that indecision is, in fact, a decision - a decision to not make any kind of move and usually because we fear the outcome. It's like walking through the house in the dark, we may finally arrive across the room but it may be with a bruised shin or stubbed toe. We should boldly choose to walk forward, inching ahead in the dark and eventually emerging on the other side.

Learn to find pleasure in the simple things.

6. Sleep
We all need plenty of rest. I know for me, I can always tell when I need more sleep, when something doesn't go right, I feel defeated. Most times a little sleep and I awake with a new zeal for life and a bring-it-on attitude, ready to face the problem head on.

A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor's book.  ~Irish Proverb

7. Sing Out Loud
There is nothing like just finding some tunes you like and belting them out like you are the newest cast member of Glee. I have a small folder of songs that I refer to as my "attitude songs" when I feel down or even if I just want to smile, I crank those up and sing to my heart's content. However, I must admit, I have to be somewhat selective when I do this because dog's for miles cover their heads and howl at the sound of my voice.

Sing like no one is listening, Dance like no one is watching, Love like you've never been hurt.

8. Sit in the Sunshine
You know if you'll watch a dog or a cat you'll see they often times find a little spot in the sun to curl up and take a little nap. They know the secret to being content, find a sunny spot, let the sunshine cover you and just breathe. Contentment is buried beneath those beams.

In the words of the late, great, John Denver, "Sunshine, on my shoulders makes me happy......"

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!- 20 Seussisms- Read Across America

Have some cake or maybe even some green eggs and ham to celebrate because today is the birthday of Theodor Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss ( it is also Bon Jovi's birthday but that's a whole other blog post.....).  Also the NEA has proclaimed March 2 - Read Across America Day. So although virtual learning and the iPod serve a vast variety of purposes, nothing beats the smell of a brand new book or the musty smell of a well loved book pulled from an old toy box. So go find a child, heck, borrow one if need be, and take a few minutes to lose yourself in the depths of imagination that can be coaxed from your stodgy old brain that is crammed too full of all the realities from everyday life.

"You're never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read to a child."

Theodor Seuss Geisel (pronounced /ˈɡaɪzəl/; March 2, 1904 – September 24, 1991) was an American writer and cartoonist most widely known for his children's books written under the pen names Dr. Seuss, Theo LeSieg and, in one case, Rosetta Stone.

In May 1954, Life magazine published a report on illiteracy among school children, which concluded that children were not learning to read because their books were boring. Accordingly, William Ellsworth Spaulding, the director of the education division at Houghton Mifflin who later became its Chairman, compiled a list of 348 words he felt were important for first-graders to recognize and asked Geisel to cut the list to 250 words and write a book using only those words. Spaulding challenged Geisel to "bring back a book children can't put down."  Nine months later, Geisel, using 236 of the words given to him, completed The Cat in the Hat. This book was described as a tour de force by some reviewer-—it retained the drawing style, verse rhythms, and all the imaginative power of Geisel's earlier works, but because of its simplified vocabulary could be read by beginning readers. 
On October 23, 1967, suffering from a long struggle with illnesses including cancer, as well as emotional pain over her husband's affair with Audrey Stone Dimond, Geisel's wife, Helen Palmer Geisel, committed suicide. Geisel married Audrey on June 21, 1968. Though he devoted most of his life to writing children's books, Geisel had no children of his own. He would say, when asked about this, "You have 'em; I'll entertain 'em."

I was a little dismayed to read about Geisel and that he was in fact a mere mortal with flaws just like everyone. For some reason it just seemed he was bigger than life and the perfect "dad-like" figure. I still love many of the quotes that have been pulled from his writing and a few of the 'seussisms" that I love the most are:
  1. A person's a person, no matter how small.
  2. You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself, any direction you choose.
  3. Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you.
  4. From there to here, and here to there, funny things are everywhere.
  5. Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened.
  6. Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So... get on your way.
  7. If you never did, you should. These things are fun, and fun is good.
  8. I meant what I said, and I said what I meant. An elephant's faithful, one hundred percent.
  9. So the writer who breeds more words than he needs, is making a chore for the reader who reads.
  10. And will you succeed? Yes indeed, yes indeed! Ninety-eight and three-quarters percent guaranteed.
  11. Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.
  12. All alone! Whether you like it or not, alone is something you'll be quite a lot. - Dr. Seuss
  13. The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.
  14. Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one.
  15. Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the things you can think up if only you try!
  16. Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not.
  17. I'm afraid sometimes you'll play lonely games too, games you can't win because you'll play against you
  18. I'm sorry to say so but, sadly it's true that bang-ups and hang-ups can happen to you
  19. From there to here, and here to there, funny things are everywhere.
  20. I know up on the top you are seeing great sights, but down at the bottom we, too, should have rights. 

 For more information and a little bit of seusstastic fun visit the seussville site.