Thank You SCFD

I’m taking a moment here to blog my thanks to Asst Chief Robinson and the Sioux City fire department. 5 engine crews came out last night between 2 – 2:30 am to contain a fire in the laundry room of my building. They were professional, courteous, and kind.

I don’t have all of the details on the incident. What I do know comes from the statement of one of the few neighbors I know. A mid-40s bald white man had been found in the laundry room. My neighbor said she didn’t see any flames, just a whole lot of smoke. She asked what he if he had called 911. He said no so she made the call.

My friends know that I have chronic insomnia- so an uninterrupted good night’s sleep is rare for me. Last night started out pleasantly- I got to bed at a decent hour, fell asleep almost immediately, and went into a good dream. I was woken about 2:30am with burning eyes and choking. It took me a moment to orient to what was happening. Once I got my glasses on I could see the smoke- even in the darkness of room. It was like a heavy fog permeating the air. The living room was just as bad. I went on auto-pilot- got dressed, slipped into my flip-flops and went outside.

There were 5 fire trucks in the parking lot. The crews were at work on the laundry room and adjacent apartments. My neighbors were standing around, like me, wondering had happened.

I believe that it was God who told me we’d be okay, that my girls were fine, and not to worry. And I thought about my friend Jen and the photos she had taken of firemen, and thought “man, I wish I had a camera.”

My neighbor Karen was the one who caught the jerk in the act- whatever he was doing. I hope they catch the guy.

After about 2 hours or so, we were cleared to return to our apartments.

This is one kind of disturbance that I didn’t mind being awakened- although the manner was not pleasant.

So, again, my thanks to the Sioux City fire department.

Drs Visit

Had a great visit with my doc today. As expected, had to step on the scale, the nurse thought that it was a tad odd that I asked her to take the pics- but we got it done. Today’s weigh in is 246 lbs and some ounces (didn’t catch those).

Time with the doc was well spent. We talked about a few things regarding foods, carbs, and supplements. She recommended breathing focused meditation to increase the nitric oxide in my blood. She’s not anti-homeopathic – she is leery about unregulated supplements.

I asked her about the rotisserie chicken that the sell at Walmart. She said it’s okay then told me about her favorite way of cooking chicken that makes it taste just like rotisserie. Using a slow cooker, chicken broth, and fresh chicken breasts- set to cook on low for 4 hours and it tastes the same.

Over all it was a good visit. We even discussed getting God involved. I had no idea she was a believer. Only found out because while waiting between the nurse leaving and her arriving- I opened my study book. Dr. Lee walked in while I was reading.

I go back in October for an update and more blood work. That’s the annual fasting test for cholesterol. Fun! NOT!

As for the pictures- I’m still not sure if I’ll share them- but they have been taken so that I can track my changes.

Day 1

As I tweeted- I have a plan- the questions are: will I go through with it? Will I be brave enough to share on the internet?

The plan is to finally lose the weight and get into shape. The problem has been that, over the years, I have had what equates to anti-support. Friends have done and said things that ultimately sabotage even the notion of doing this.

Women / girls have said things like:

“Oh, you’re not fat.”

“You’re not the one who’s fat, I’M the one who’s fat!” ( this from the girl who weighed no more than 110 / 120 pounds. )

And from the guys:

“200 pounds isn’t so bad.”

“As long as you don’t lose the tatas.”

When showing a friend the stationary bike I’m saving up for- he commented “It’s pointless to exercise just one part of your body.”

I have decided that today I am taking back the power. I’ve banged my head on the proverbial wall for the last time. These people are no longer either a part of my life or an influence. Today I am taking this back and making it mine.

Today is my regular check up with my doctor regarding the PCOS. I’m going to ask the nurse to take 2 pictures with my disposable camera. 1 of the scale- ( because there are those who refuse to believe my claim of weight. ) and one of me because people on a weight loss kick usually start with the “before picture.”

Wish me luck.

Happy Snowman Wax Warmer

Let me start by mentioning that I like wax warmers. Thy come in all different shapes, colors, and types ( characters, plain, with sayings, and seasonal ).  And the scents are – there’s too many to count. Around cats they’re much safer than candles. I’m thinking they might become my next ‘thing to collect’- the scents that is.

Anyway- for the several years I have been wanting and trying to purchase this fun shaped wax warmer. The problems are that it’s a seasonal item and every season- Walmart sells out of them faster than you can blink. So, this passed season I decided to look for it online- and sure enough, there it was. I found it on Walmart’s website and added to my site wishlist. This month, I finally had some extra cash that I could order it. It arrived today.

Isn’t he adorable? Sometimes we need the silly things to make us smile.

Happy Snowman Wax Warmer

To get your own- click here

Captain Power vs. Jem

I have just one thing to say. Although it’s taking time to bring Captain Power back to us- renewed and revised, I want to thank the creators and crew for sticking with it. It’s my understanding that they are doing their due diligence to preserve the sanctity of Captain Power not only for the fans of today but for those of the original.

What prompts me to post this is the news that Jem and the Holograms, a much beloved cartoon and another show of the mid-80s has been turned into a motion picture.

I have seen the preview trailer and I am aghast! The writers and producers have taken creative licensing of this project and changed it. I’m not sharing links because I refuse to promote such heresy.

And for me it is heresy when people take something that has been and is treasured by many and corrupted to their own liking for profit. There have been so many changes to the concept of Jem that it looks like a blending of her story with Barbie and the Rockers.

So, I reiterate my thanks to The Goddard Film Group the Powers that be behind Captain Power and tSotF; Thank you for working your best to preserve a much beloved show. (and saying no to those interested if to only change things to their will). Continue to preserve the life of this show!


(and yes, I have my Power Pin!)

A Window of Quiet Time

In the mornings there’s a lot of noise to be had. The neighbors hustle to get ready for work and shuffle the kids off to school. Aside from the occasional day of the crew doing yard work the noise begins to taper off about 9am. By 9:30 it’s almost as quiet as a church. I can still hear my upstairs neighbor bantering about but that’s tolerable.

I don’t know yet when the closing point of this window is. I’m assuming it’s between 2:30 and 3pm when the children are released from school. This is a decent sized window- about 5 hours. I am certain I can get a bundle of writing done in that time.

In short, I think I found my window of time to write at home. At least the beginning of that window. If it becomes too much, I can hop on the bus for the library.

BOINC Update!

This is for my buds of Calm Chaos! and other cruncher buds- Scout (my laptop) started crunching work units on July 16,2013.

His current list of projects are:

Climate Prediction
Moo! Wrapper
Pogs -SkyNet – no, not that Skynet
SETI@Home – the one that started it all.
World Community Grid

Scout’s favorite snack is Moo! Wrapper.

Okay, so why is she posting this? It’s a bit premature because with every update, more time it shaved off the projection. As of today- Scout is 11.02 days short of reaching 2,000,000 credits. This means that not only has he surpassed my gal Pilot (Dell 1100); he has done so in a fraction of the time it took her to pass 1,000,000. Libra (Dell 2400) did the bulk of the work on SETI though with 52,331 out of 67,841.22 credits.

Now for everyone else – if you’re still reading this, you’re probably wondering what I’m babbling about and why I’m so excited to be approaching the 2 million marker.

As one of my favorite TV characters says: OMG, what’s the BFD?

I’m babbling about BOINC – The Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing. Rather than try to stumble through explaining, I’m a fiction writer not a scientist, here’s a few links to find out what BOINC is, how it works, and what kinds of projects utilize BOINC.

People talk about getting out there to volunteer in the community, not everyone can do this physically. Everyone who has a computer can volunteer the downtime to run BOINC and the various – mostly science related – projects.

I got into this because of SETI, today my computers either have or do crunch work units for the projects listed above. As of January 2015, there are 68 active projects and each one of them is for something different.

Here’s those links I mentioned:


Home page:

One of the sites that lists the various projects and user / team stats:

And Calm Chaos! My BOINC team!

C’mon guys, did you really think I’d make this fuss and NOT link to the team site?

11 days and counting until 2,000,000! I want a t-shirt for this one! Or at least a banner saying 2,000,000 combined credits with the date and some twinkles LOL

– Also posting this to my FB page – because one place is not enough!

Left Behind ( 2014 ver. )

Just watched the 2014 version of Left Behind. That’s about 2 hours I won’t get back. Thanks Cage for tarnishing the image I had.

Compelling- Yes. Suspenseful – Yes. Followed the book? No, it’s obvious that the writers ( and the people who made edits along the way) took creative license with the script – which is something I don’t like. I’m not alone in this. Fans of many books turned movies will rip and shred a film if it does not do justice to the book.

As for casting: Nicolas Cage as Rayford Steele missed by a mile. He doesn’t have “the look” the books conjure in the imagination- at least not mine. I do consider myself a fan of Cage. For me though, he just doesn’t fit this part. The one casting score I thought was spot on was Hadie. The actress was perfect.

Some of the settings they depicted were out in Left Field. Chloe using a truck to clear the road was clever. The fuel tanker at the end of the road = classic Cage maneuver- and completely unnecessary- as was Chloe’s bridge scene- not the lines, but the setting.

Sadly, despite the big bucks spent to make the film- a lot of the scenes left me disappointed. The film over all was dismal. The original film was better. I hope that cast and crew continues and finishes the series.

One good thing- for the price of a movie ticket Netflix has unlimited monthly access. So, it’s not a loss to the budget.