Saturday, January 31, 2009

Get Sassy!

Click here to visit my new writing and social media site:

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

For The Record: Blogging, History, and The Legacy We Leave

Every morning I start my day by connecting to the thoughts of others. I go on-line and read a series of news feeds on the ol 'puter. We still get the local paper too, (mainly for the crossword puzzle, and the authoritative feel of snapping the pages), but aside from the portability of taking it with me to the, uh..."reading room", I tend to rely more and more on electronic content.

The print papers just aren't as relevant anymore. The paper today is just a rehash of what I read on line last night. It's old news before the ink even dries on the page. In addition, my on-line content is tailored to my interests. It's more personal, more real, and often more honest because of the freedoms of personal publishing.

One favorite site of mine is a daily digest from

This mornings entry tells how on this date in 1917 the U.S. ended its search for Pancho Villa. That little gem is of personal interest as my Great Grandfather W.A. Sands was one of the men sent into Mexico to hunt down the famed revolutionary under the command of General Black Jack Pershing. I can look at that history and write about it. I can link to it and add a new and more personal piece to the puzzle of the past.

I have grandpa's diary's. They are filled with day by day accounts of that mission, with a whole lotta talk of the Mexican"working girls" who entertained at their camps each night.

My father says W.A. and his wife did not speak directly to each other for the last forty years of their lives, even though they never divorced, and lived in the same house on Bryden Road until their deaths. In order to communicate, they would direct their comments to one or more of their seven children, -or occasionally the dog.

I have often wonder if that diary might have played a part in their long running marital feud. His diaries don't say. There is not one cross word about his wife or children in those pages. He talks extensively of his missions with Pershing, both to Mexico, and later into WWI France. He talks of his work as the leader of the 42nd Rainbow Division military band, and later of The Great Depression and his work as a business man in Columbus Ohio, but there is not a single sentence in those volumes discussing his personal feelings about his family.

His wife, Tose Sands, kept a diligent daily record too. She logged the weather, who came to visit, what the meals were, who was born and who died, but she too wrote nary a word about their personal lives. Even on holidays like Christmas, the accounts fail to mention feelings about family or gifts, or the joy of celebration.

I think there is a lesson in those musty old books for the bloggers of the future. While a meteorologist or a war historian might find gold in those pages, regular readers are looking for something more...a personal history, with feelings and personal philosophies on life. Entries like that not only teach us who these people were, but it keeps their memories alive, and provides us with a way to connect to our collective past, and relate their struggles to our future.

When I look at the photos in the old family trunk, I often wonder what those ghosts of the past were like. I wish we had more diaries, more personal glimpses into history, and I hope the age of the Internet will make that dream come alive for the children of tomorrow.

When I look into the eyes of those old photos, I want to know who those people were. Don't you?

Friday, January 23, 2009

Times Square, where dreams come true

Just got back from The big Apple. -Had a ball.

Here's a fake tourist photo I purchased for 10 bucks in times Square.

A place where anyting can happen, and everything does!

Saturday, January 17, 2009


I just launched a new blog. It's called I spent the past three weeks learning css, html and php codes so that I could do some fun customizations and put a few advertisements on it.

The focus of the blog is writing and social networking. Anything outside that realm (Mostly family funnies and slice of life) will still appear here, unless its a political post. All politics will appear only on The Huffington Post from now on.

If you have a chance to drop over to either site and make a comment, you would surely make me smile.

Thanks Everybody.


Friday, January 16, 2009

Geese Grumpy over Airstrike Coverage

The United Geese Federation is upset with coverage regarding the Miracle on the Hudson. Spokes-gander Loosey Goosey claims an unfair anti-avian media bias regarding the recent plane crash in New York.

"All the news coverage is claiming a goose hit the plane. Our position is the plane hit the goose. They keep quacking about the damage our goose did to the engine, but did you see the damage that engine did to the goose?!"

Geese all over the country are flocking together in protest of the coverage, flying in the classic V formation as a symbol of solidarity.

Right Wing Opponents say "They can honk all they want, but the fact is, they don't have a case. Geese are not considered credible in court."

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Power of Words

I just received a nice e-mail from Gloria Feldt. Gloria is one of my "SHE-RO's". She is a writer, activist, and public speaker with a long history of involvement in the Women's Movement.

She sent me a review copy of her book The War on Choice for an article I am working on for The Huffington Post.

After putting the bones of the piece together, I sent her a draft to fact check.

The first line of her reply to me was:

I am greatly honored that you are citing my book. You
have created a beautiful framework to remind Americans what is at stake on this
Roe anniversary.

Wow. What a perfect thing to say to a budding writer. "You have created a beautiful framework...:

That is after all, what we all dream of doing when we write; Create beautiful frameworks.

I don't know about you, but I often find that a difficult thing to do. I have so many ideas floating around in my head, and they ALL have connections. More often than not, I tend to connect too many different dots in my essays, which basically turns the framework into a pile of mangled steel.

Beautiful frameworks require structure, and simplicity. It is a melding of art and form. It can be linear, or circular, or spiral, in style and point, as long as the framework is sound.

But simplicity is complicated.

Because I admire Gloria and her achievements, I will hold her kind words most dear. And hopefully, I will build better frameworks this year as a result.

Monday, January 12, 2009


Are ya'all using Twitter yet?

I kept reading how hot it is, so I decided to give it a try. I admit it confused me at first. The idea is you sign up for a free account, start "following" other people, and they in turn "follow" you.

To "tweet" on Twitter, you go to the Twitter dashboard and answer the question: "What are you doing?"

You have only 140 characters (letters & numbers) in which to answer.

When you hit send, everyone who is following you receives your Tweet.

Some folks say things like "Going to bed now." or "Spilled my coffee."

Others report news headlines, or provide updates to their latest writings.

When you insert a url into a Tweet, twitter automatically converts the link to something called a Tiny url. Basically all this does is make your link smaller so that it uses less characters.

When I first began using Twitter, it did not make a lot of sense to me. In order to see followers Tweets, I had to go to the Twitter site and scroll through all the Tweets. Most of them meant nothing to me, so it thought "Hmm...Twitter huh?...meh."

But then I discovered an add on for Twitter called Twhirl. Twhirl is a little piece of Twitter software you download on to your desktop that sends those Tweets in real time. Now I get my news faster than anyone on the planet.

I "follow" good news sources, and those tweets let me know whats going on around the globe as it's happening. I also know what my friends are up to, and who just posted a new article.

Chris Brogan just wrote a cool twitter story. He was in Las Vegas for a convention. His gang wanted to get permission to have a promotional photo taken while on board a pirate ship. They sent out a few Twitters to see if anyone at the convention knew who to contact to get permission to board the ship. Within minutes, they had their answer, got permission, and now have a hot photo of the three entrepreneurs standing as swashbucklers aboard the famous ship.

Another fella used Twitter to hook up with his friends after a football game. He tweeted his location and they all met up at the same pub after the game.
Lara Kretler shares a story on her blog of how she needed some quick information. She posted her question to Twitter, and got the answer she needed right away. On her post she said it was better to get answers from real people she networked with rather than depend on the Google bot. I think she is right about that.

So in conclusion, Here's a Thumbs up for Twitter. I think it's sings.

You can follow me on Twitter by clicking here. I promise to follow you back.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

New York City!

Oh how exciting! I am about to embark on my first ever trip to NYC!

Next week Arianna Huffington, co-founder and editor in chief of The Huffington Post, will moderate a discussion on "The Year Ahead" in politics and culture with HuffPost bloggers: Nora Ephron, author and screenwriter; Erica Jong, author; Barbara Ehrenreich, author; Trey Ellis, author and screenwriter; and Paul Rieckhoff, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) executive director.

As a contributing writer for Huffpo, I will be driving to The Big Apple to attend. It's about an eight hour trip, and I am a little nervous about actually driving in the city and finding my way around, but only with great risk comes great reward, right?

In addition, the trip will offer an opportunity to get some face time with my cyber-friends.

I can't wait to post all about it and share the goings on of the event with you all.

(I will also have a big article coming out on Huffpo that stay tuned folks.)

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Sponsor a Poor Wall Street Pauper Today!

This is great. I love her Safari outfit, and the way the "poor exec." plays up the puppy eyes. Tooo Funny!