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woman-riding-bikeHow often have you heard the expression: It’s just like riding a bike? Something you used to do – and overall, do well – then you stop doing it, then you do it again. The concept is that you can just pick up right where you left off and still know how to do it. Like riding a bike. Right? Wrong. (more…)

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Kids these days play video games practically everywhere. They have their own little noise-making devices that they carry around and annoy the heck out of people in restaurants, grocery stores, movie theaters, everywhere. Oh, I get that as a parent, these types of “toys” provide the perfect distraction and keep those little minds busy and perhaps their mouths quiet. Quiet is a precious commodity when you have little ones after all. 

girl-playing-video-game-in-car

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I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook. I try to pop in every day or so to see what’s going on with my “friends.” Sometimes I post stuff, sometimes I like stuff, sometimes I use those cute newfangled emoticons. Usually, what I do is snort, scoff or laugh at other peoples’ posts.

woman on computer

Ever notice that there are some people you can bet money on what their post is about? I have. I’ve comprised a list of the FB personality types I come across most often on my feed. Because – and I think I’ve said this before – I’m a giver, I’ll share my analysis with you. Please keep in mind that some people fall into more than one category and I am in no way asking you to unfriend me. This is simply my observations about the most commonly posted stuff. I, undoubtedly, have fallen into one or two of these categories on occasion myself.

Here goes:

Bragging soccer mom – These posts are ALWAYS pictures of their kids with some clever or cute sentiment about how amazing the littles are. I’m not opposed to these posts, I just get tired or seeing them. “Here’s number 412 of Johnny at X event.” “Here’s little Susie all dolled up in her ____ (fill in the blank).” “followed 2 seconds later by another of Susie in one of her other 800 cute outfits.” Are you living your life vicariously through your kids? Can we see just one picture of you doing something interesting?

family in car

Overjoyous grandmother – Yup, this one’s like the one above only it skips a generation. Again, I love seeing the cuteness, so don’t stop, but you might want to throw in an occasional instructional video about how to cook something sinfully delicious that no one’s ever going to cook up. Your grandkid didn’t get cuter in 15 seconds.

sick woman

Perpetual sick-o – Do you, like me, have that the one (or a dozen) “friend(s),” who always has something ailing them? Sometimes their ailment is accompanied by a disgusting picture or description of their illness. Or, if they’re not sick, someone in their family is. Let’s find something positive and post that tomorrow shall we? I’m tired of hearing about everything that’s wrong with you and/or your loved ones.

Excessively needy –  These are the people who subtly boast about how awesome they are by posting negative stuff. Like how much pain they’re in because they’ve just climbed Half Dome at Yosemite in 15 minutes. Or they have injured themselves – again – for the umpteenth time in karate class earning their tenth black belt. Do these people just need sympathy or do they think they’re bad ass? I have no sympathy. I’d rather you just post the accomplishment and leave it at that. If it’s the pain you get off on, then just say that, don’t use the poor, poor me post to brag about yourself.

Humorous meme sharer – I think these are the people who appreciate good humor but are themselves not funny so they post cartoons or pictures with captions that make people laugh. I love a good laugh, and I have often shared some of these clever witticisms, but once in a while I’d love to see an actual post that you’ve typed up yourself.

funny meme

YouTube abuser – This one’s pretty easy to figure out. Have you noticed how many videos are being posted on FB these days? Seems like I get dozens of them a day. They slow my computer down. Let’s use the video clips sparingly people.

Political activist – This one is self-explanatory. Just stop people. Stop right now. I know where you stand from the first hundred dozen posts. And – here’s a shocker – your posts are not going to get me to change my mind or my opinion. Stop already.

nature

Nature lover – Only posts pictures of nature too beautiful to be real. (See photo above for example.)

Save the world prayer seekers – Again, stop with the pictures of grossly disfigured children. I don’t need to see them. I know where to donate charitable funds. I’ll pray for everyone not just these poor unfortunate souls.

Sales people – This one is tough because as an author, you want to make people aware of your books and where to buy them, but some authors seem to only put “buy me” posts up. I’d like to know a little bit more about you. Let’s see some clever posts by the author so I know whether or not your book might be enjoyable.

buy book

World travelers – Ever notice how some people always seem to be going somewhere or doing something? I am sure they have regular lives like normal people, but every day there’s a new post from somewhere other than their home. Yay for them and I love the super cool photos or super cool places, but sheesh, when do you do your laundry or pay your bills?

So there you have it, my analysis. Keep in mind, this is just my own personal FB feed and yours will look different. However, I’m sure if you take the time to look and keep track, you’ll find one of two of the types listed above on your feed too. And again, don’t hate me people; this post is mostly tongue-in-cheek.

If you fall into one of these categories and you think I’m making fun of you, well, I probably am, but that’s how I roll. If you really know me, you know that I laugh at myself as well and if I’m laughing at you, it’s because I really like you. If I ignore you, watch out; that means something else entirely. I scoff because I care.

How about you dear readers? What kinds of trends do you see on Facebook? Do you get tired of some of these offenders? I’d love to add to my list, so let me hear your thoughts.

Word of the day: Hautbois (alternate: Hautboy)

Fun fact about me: I think I’m one of these FB post offenders.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, April 2016. Photos courtesy Google Images.

 

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M, dotted letter, crooked letter, crooked letter, dotted letter, crooked letter, crooked letter, dotted letter, hump back, hump back, dotted letter.

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned in my blog that I’d hidden a clue in the post regarding my new home. The clue was this picture:

Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

The Magnolia State, home of the Rebels and the Bulldogs, birthplace of Elvis Aaron Presley (Tupelo, January 8, 1935), famous for the Natchez Trace and the Great River Road (Blues Highway), former home of Jefferson Davis, first and only president of the Southern Confederate States during the War Between the States (who, incidentally, despised war).

Photo courtesy Google Images

Beauvoir – Jefferson Davis’s home. Photo courtesy Google Images

 

 

Why Mississippi you ask? Because my friends, after we decided that owing a bed & breakfast held a certain appeal to us, we started researching and Mississippi proved to be the state that afforded us the most bang for our buck. We visited, explored, researched some more, and voila, we found the perfect place. Contracts were signed, paperwork flew across the internet, deals were made, and now it’s about to happen. Just a couple more weeks and it’ll be official – I’ll be a resident of Mississippi!

Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

In the meantime, while you’re all planning your trips to visit me (you are right?), here are 10 lesser known yet fun facts about Mississippi:

1 – It is approximately 725 miles from Disney World;

2 – It is approximately 1,780 miles from Disneyland;

3 – Shoes were first offered in boxed pairs (1 left, 1 right) around 1884 at Phil Gilbert’s Shoe Parlor on Washington Street in Vicksburg;

4 – It is the home of the International Hall of Checkers and the Biedenharn Coca-Cola Museum;

5 – The Vicksburg National Cemetery is the second largest in the country, the first being Arlington;

6 – The world’s largest pecan nursery is located in Mississippi;

7 – Vicksburg is home to the world’s largest hydraulic research laboratory and is operated by the US Army Corp of Engineers;

8 – John B. Stetson, honed the craft of hat-making at Dunn’s Falls, near Meridian, after the Civil War, forever changing the look of western headgear.

9 – S.B. Sam Vick, of Batesville, was the only man to ever pinch hit for Babe Ruth. He played for both the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox.

10 – Most importantly, it is where you’ll find the Baer House Inn, circa 1870, my new home! (Almost.)

Photo courtesy Baer House Inn

Photo courtesy Baer House Inn

I hope you’ll all come and visit (but not all at the same time because I don’t have that much room) and enjoy some Southern hospitality and home cooked vittles.

Question: What is your favorite Southern dish? Ever been to Mississippi? Got a cool Mississippi fun fact? If you stay overnight, what would you like to eat for breakfast?

Word of the Day:  Taboret

Fun Fact About Me: I’ve only been to Mississippi twice. And no, that awesome car does not come with the house. (Dang it!)

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, June 2015. Photos courtesy Baer House Inn and Google Images

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A big shout out to everyone who’s graduating or knows someone who’s graduating. Congratulations!! Graduating, be it from high school, college, or Kindergarten, is a huge deal. It’s a progression from one thing to something bigger and better. The commencement of a new chapter in the lives of those fortunate enough to have completed requirements necessary to advance.

Not to be a downer, but here’s a little secret to graduates everywhere: School never ends. As Kid President says, “We are all students and we are all teachers.”

And, because I love him so much, and I cannot relay information the way he can, here’s a message from Kid President to graduates of life. Enjoy!

Now get out there and dance!

How about you readers, what have you learned today? What lesson do you want to pass along to others? What’s the greatest piece of advice you can give for anyone graduating into the next phase of their life? Inquiring minds want to know.

Take care and don’t forget to be awesome.

Word of the Day: Olla

Fun fact about me: I have graduated from 4 different schools.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, May 2015. Video courtesy YouTube (Soul Pancake).

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So, the all-the-rage Christmas gift this past year was apparently the Fitbit or it’s cousin the Jawbone. If you’re unfamiliar with these little devices, they are designed to help you keep track of your healthy habits. Or so they tout. Personally, I don’t get it, but I’ve noticed a lot more people in my zumba class with these little babies strapped to their wrists.

Photo courtesy Google images.

Photo courtesy Google images.

Now, if you are a lover of these technological devices, and they are “working” for you, please don’t be offended by this post. I love that you’re working on getting or staying healthy. For me, they seem like a gimmick.

First of all, the only people I see wearing these things look like this:

Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

If you look like this, you are already are a fit bit of feminie loveliness. You are already doing all of the right things and you don’t need a fancy schmancy device to let you know it. Just carry on you well-toned beautiful women. I love and hate you all.

The number one problem I see right off the bat with a device like this is – you have to remember to put the thing on. That’s going to mess up quite a few people.

Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

Assuming you remember to strap it on, it’s my understanding that these thingeys tell you the amount of steps you’ve taken. I’m not sure why that’s important. I mean, let’s face it, if I’ve had my ass in a chair all day writing, or in the sofa watching TV or reading, I can pretty much guarantee you that I haven’t taken more than about 16 steps, and those were undoubtedly to the refrigerator for a snack. I really don’t need a device to keep track of that or to remind me of my lethargy. Likewise, if I’ve been working out or jogging I can say, with some certainty based on how much my muscles are screaming and the amount of sweat pouring off my weary body, that I have experienced a good work-out. I don’t really care how many steps I’ve taken; I feel good that I’ve worked out.

The next problem is that these devices don’t hold you accountable. I mean if you set a goal to take 5,000 steps every day, nothing happens if you fall short. If I wear the thing all day and then check my stats when I get home and I’ve only taken 1,100 steps and my goal was 5,000, am I going to go run 16 miles to make up the deficit? Hell no! I’m just going to say, “screw it, I’ll walk more tomorrow,” and go to bed.

Photo courtesy Google images

Photo courtesy Google images

Now, what would be really helpful is if those little wristbands thingeys had pre-recorded messages. What would be exceptionally motivating is for a really annoying voice, like Gilbert Godfry or someone equally nasally and whiny, to say something like, “get moving lard ass,” every time I sat in one place for more than about 10 minutes. Or, “you’re slowing down fatso,” when I switch the treadmill from jog to walk. That would be motivating. However, I do see a potential problem with this, especially if you’re working out at a gym or other public place. You would not want that thing going off and have somebody other than yourself thinking it was directed at them. No sirree, I would not want some Rambo over in free weights to come over and konk me on the head with a 200 pound barbell because my Fitbit offended him.

Photo courtesy Google Images.

Photo courtesy Google Images.

Although . . . if he looked like that guy . . . maybe a visit wouldn’t be so bad. Hmmmm.

But I digress. Maybe instead of a pre-recorded message, a squirt of pepper spray to the face every hour could be used. I mean nothing would get me moving faster than pepper spray in my face. Think of the amount of steps you’d take with that crap on your skin. You couldn’t run to the shower fast enough and you’d be dancing a jig the whole time you were in there. Or, every so often a shock treatment like a taser blast could go off to remind you to get up and drink some water. That would get me hopping out of my chair for sure.

That’s right, these puppies supposedly will keep track of how much water I’ve drank during the day. Hmmm. Is that necessary? If I fill my glass 4 times then I can pretty much rely on the fact that I’ve had 4 glasses of water that day. And, taking this one step farther, if I know that my glass is 20 ounces, and I fill it 4 times, then I’ve had – say it with me – 80 ounces of water that day. No device required. And how does that thing distinguish between water and gatorade, or soda, or . . . oh I don’t know . . . wine? ‘Cuz, if it measured wine in-take I’d pretty much meet my quota every single day.

And, supposedly, they keep track of your sleeping habits (again – if you remember to wear them). At the risk of sounding redundant, what is the point of this? If I wake up at 3:00 in the morning and lay there awake for 2 hours, my clock will give me the same information as that little plastic strap on my wrist. I don’t need a device to let me know that I was awake for 2 hours in the middle of the night. Contrarily, if I wake up refreshed, having slept straight through the night, I don’t need to check my wrist to see how I’ve slept. This “feature,” makes no sense to me.

Photo courtesy Google Images.

Photo courtesy Google Images.

I’m thinking a much better electronic device to invest in to ensure good health is one that requires you to solve a trigonometry problem before you can open the cookie jar.  Or do 20 jumping jacks before the refrigerator door will open. I’m thinking that would successfully solve this problem:

Photo courtesy Google images.

Photo courtesy Google images.

How about your dear readers, do you have a Fitbit, Jawbone or similar device? Do you like it? What gadgets would be helpful in your life to keep you fit and healthy?

Fun fact about me: I am not really into fancy techy gadgets.

Word of the Day: Vugh (alternate spelling)

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, January 2015. Photos courtesy Google Images.

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Next stop, Juneau, the capital city of Alaska.

Welcome to Juneau. Photo by C. Rickrode 2014.

Welcome to Juneau. Photo by C. Rickrode 2014.

We wandered leisurely along the water’s edge into town, again marveling at the magnificent warm weather and brilliant sunshine. We’d been warned that the weather in Alaska in September can be really wet. As we’d lucked out with amazing weather in Ketchikan, we’d lucked out again in Juneau.

 Juneau, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014.

Juneau, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014.

Historic Juneau, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014.

Historic Juneau, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014.

After a couple hours of exploring, we ventured back into the rain forest for a morning zipping through the trees and walking across swinging suspension bridges high over narrow, deep canyons. It was thrilling if not a wee bit scary.

C. Rickrode ready to zipline. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014.

C. Rickrode ready to zipline. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014.

C. Rickrode. Rainforest Canopy & Zipline Expedition. Juneau, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014.

C. Rickrode. Rainforest Canopy & Zipline Expedition. Juneau, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014.

Here is a very short, and I mean very short, video of my husband taking his practice run.

Later we boarded the tram and ascended 1,800 feet up the steep slope of Mount Roberts for an afternoon hiking in the fresh air.

Mount Roberts Tram - Juneau, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014.

Mount Roberts Tram – Juneau, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014.

P. Rickrode at the top of the Mount Roberts Tramway. Photo by C. Rickrode 2014.

P. Rickrode at the top of the Mount Roberts Tramway. Photo by C. Rickrode 2014.

The Star Princess from atop Mount Roberts - Juneau, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014.

The Star Princess from atop Mount Roberts – Juneau, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014.

Gastineau Channel - Juneau, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014.

Gastineau Channel – Juneau, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014.

View of Inside Passage from atop Mount Roberts. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014.

View of Inside Passage from atop Mount Roberts. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014.

P. Rickrode on the nature trail on Mount Roberts. Photo by C. Rickrode 2014.

P. Rickrode on the nature trail on Mount Roberts. Photo by C. Rickrode 2014.

Late blooming flowers on Mount Roberts. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014.

Late blooming flowers on Mount Roberts. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014.

With so much yet to do and see, we were dismayed that the time had come for us to return to ship. On our return walk along the wharf, we spotted several eagles, but I was not able to get a good picture. Still no bears. Maybe tomorrow in Skagway.

The Star Princess docked at Juneau, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014

The Star Princess docked at Juneau, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014

Have you seen our majestic national bird in the wild? Have you come across some late-blooming wild flowers? What surprises have delighted you this early part of autumn?

Word of the day: Isallobar

Fun fact about me: I love tomato soup, ketchup, tomato sauce, and tomatoes but I hate tomato juice.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, September 2014. Original photos and video by P. Rickrode and C. Rickrode.

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Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

Here it is – Cinco de Mayo! The one day we all look forward to all year to celebrate . . . something . . .  Mexican. It’s the fifth of May and that means . . . um . . . something happened in Mexico on this day in . . . 18 hundred something. Oh who freakin’ cares, pass me another margarita.

Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

Americans everywhere are watching the clock today, waiting for happy hour to purchase that Mexicanesque drink in honor of . . . that thing . . . that thing that happened in Mexico in . . . that year . . . a long time ago. Oh who freakin’ cares, let’s down another shot of tequila.

Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

Nachos, tacos, burritos, jalapenos on anything; if it even sounds remotely Mexican, bring it on. Salt or no salt, blended or on the rocks, just order it and down it and then order another one. Who freakin’ cares, it’s Cinco de Mayo.

Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

So here’s what you probably don’t know:

Now get out there and eat something Mexican and overindulge in Mexican beverages. This opportunity won’t come around again for a whole nuther year.

Feliz Cinco de Mayo! Viva Mexico!!

Word of the day: Kilderkin (Totally not Mexican but I’ll bet Coleen P will find a way to use it in a sentence along with something else related to this post.)

Fun fact about me: The car I’m driving right now is the first car I’ve ever bought with an automatic transmission.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, April 2014. Photos courtesy Google Images. Video courtesy YouTube.

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Take It or Leave It Image courtesy Google Images

Take It or Leave It
Image courtesy Google Images

New year – new game. Last year you enjoyed learning a little more about me through a game called What Haven’t I. This year I’m going to ask you to determine whether or not I would accept or decline the totally random selection of things I list in a game I’m calling Take It or Leave It. That’s right, all you have to do is guess whether I would, well, take it, or leave it.

Image courtesy Google Images

Image courtesy Google Images

My amazing powers of deductive reasoning led me to that awesome title and description.

The rules are simple, just post your guesses in the comments section below. I will post the choices on Monday and my responses on Thursday. The person with the most guesses is my winner, but you must re-post in the comments section in order to claim your prize. Unclaimed prizes will be forfeited after one week from posting the answers.

Good luck and have fun.

Image courtesy Google Images

Image courtesy Google Images

Here we go with the very first installment of Take It or Leave It.

1 – Sing karaoke at a biker bar
2 – Skydiving
3 – Deep sea diving
4 – Bungee jumping
5 – Spelunking
6 – Parasailing
7 – Ride a bucking bull (a live one, not a mechanical one)
8 – Surfing
9 – Ride the Tower of Terror at Disneyland
10 – Eat a bug

Word of the day: Wittol
Fun fact about me: I used to change my own oil in my car.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, January 2014. Images courtesy Google Images

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So last week I was a little uninspired with regard to blogging. I have to say, not much changed this past week. I sat here staring at my Gravator wondering what witty words of wisdom I could pass along to you, my lovely blog followers. I sat, and sat, and sat.

And then I found this:

How freaking cool is this kid? I think ’nuff said.

You’ve just been pep-talked. Now get out there and dance.

Who encourages you? Would you vote for this kid to be President?

Word of the day: nonce word

Fun fact about me:  My belly button’s an inney.

Original post by Jansen Schmdt November 2013. Video courtesy #kidpresident (YouTube)

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