Car manuals

wpid-20150425_185818.jpgSo, after almost seven months of owning my vehicle, I decided to finally read the owner’s manual. And oh boy did I learn a ton! First, my car has far more features that I ever knew. There are hidden buttons on door handles — oh joy! So sci-fi!

While I learned a lot about my car, I also got a lot of laughs out of the diagrams such as the one to your left. Did you know that if you get locked in the trunk of said car, there is a little glow-in-the dark handle you can pull? Well, that’s cool. I’ll remember that the next time I get locked in my trunk. But what’s even funnier is apparently you’re supposed to run away — and run fast, according to the diagram. All kidding aside, these things DO happen…there are indeed mean/stupid people in the world.wpid-20150425_191103.jpg

The next diagram involved the gas tank. Apparently turtles live in my gas tank. So, I decided this: You must remove all the turtles before you fuel up. I mean, otherwise, it would be cruel to fill the tank with turtles inside, right? If you’re curious, the manual said to remove the nozzle slowly after fueling, thus the turtles. But it just made me laugh.

Proof you can find humor in just about anything — even car manuals.


Goodbye Joyland


Disclaimer: All the photos were taken legally — I never entered the park.

It is so sad to see that the demolition of former amusement park, Joyland, is in full swing.

For those of you who don’t know what Joyland is: Joyland Amusement Park was an amusement park in Wichita, Kansas, United States. It was in continuous operation for 55 years, from June 12, 1949 to 2004, closing permanently in 2006.[1] It was once the largest theme park in central Kansas and featured a wooden roller coaster and 24 other rides.

Source: wikipedia. See the entire post here.wpid-img_20150425_182327.jpg

I remember Joyland so well growing up. Oh and that wooden roller coaster was legendary! Joyland was indeed a place full of joy. I’m sad that it’s being torn down, but understand it brought so much joy to people and is truly at the end of its life cycle.

I’m equally sad vandals broke in, set fire to many of the buildings and other vandalized them. The lack of respect is astonishing. Shame on anyone who does that.

wpid-20150425_182015.jpgGoodbye Joyland, you will live in my heart forever and in the hearts of so many others.

Red ribbons and blowing breezes

wpid-20150423_142027.jpgToday on a walk, I found a red tinsel ribbon. As I was concentrating on the fact that my foot was on fire from an earlier walk this week and then I spotted the ribbon tangled in some fence along the road.

I started to hobble on, but something made me go back and get the ribbon. It was pretty and shiny and bright. Clearly it needed to come home with me. My plan is to tape it to my storyboard that I just started working on for my novel.

As I walked back, I held the ribbon and watched it blow in the breeze — focused on the simple beauty and the way it made me smile. I guess you could say it spoke to me.

That’s kind of the way I try to see life — in moments. Yesterday is gone. Today is here, right now. Tomorrow isn’t promised to us — ever. And today will blow away in the breeze before we know it. As a journalist, this really hits me when someone dies in a fire or a car accident — one moment they are going about their business and the next moment they are gone. Just like that. It could happen to any one of us — at any time.

So, I want to take the ribbon home, put it on my story board where I’ll see it every day — live in the moment. Keep going. Push through whatever is going on (even if it’s a sore foot).

The day I decided to go for gold

wpid-screenshot_2015-04-21-18-27-32.jpgYesterday I set a new record on my step count. A whopping 20,000 steps.

I didn’t set out to break my record. I was feeling ambitious and was already close to my 10,000 for the day when I set out for my walk/run yesterday afternoon. So, I took to the gravel and ran part of the way there. Gravel is a challenge to run on…and it only take one pesky rock to bring you down, but that’s another story.

I was enjoying some tunes, crushing my step goal when I was just halfway through my normal route. I decided to keep going — the tunes were just too good to stop!

When I got home, my steps were at 17,000! I was so excited. I was going to stop there…but, who can stop a mere 3,000 steps from 20,000? So with the help of Jessie, my drill sergeant for the night, I squeaked out the last 3,000 steps — and topped off my distance at over 8 miles for the day!

I’m now the proud owner of two new Fitbit badges, a sore knee, sore arch in my foot (the preceding two due to a stupid rock) and some bragging rights. Will I try this again? Probably not — due to the sheer fact I keep having to repeat this “pain is weakness leaving my body…”

#39List revisited

Gazette PortraitsIt’s coming. My 39th birthday. For my 39th year of life, I wanted to form a #39List of 39 things I want to do before I turn 40.

Of course, all these have to be within reason…I don’t have unlimited funds to go travel the world.

I’ve worked off and on with the list, adding, subtracting and even scrapping — to the point where I’m really unsure what I want to put on it.

At this point I’m thinking it may be a mix of personal goals: like saying no to things that aren’t necessary to my life and don’t really make me feel good to events such as doing something I’ve wanted to do for a while like visit an art exhibit.

Either way, I want it to be a “live life to its fullest, every single day” type of list. Perhaps that should be Number 1 on my list — or maybe I should just write that goal 39 times. LOL.

My original goal was to make the list, blog about each item and all that jazz. And I may do some of that, but probably not to the depth I had originally intended.

That’s the thing about life — it changes. And it’s OK to change your mind too. It’s ok to change an idea or heck, scrap it entirely. It’s YOUR life. Period.

Just sayin’. Hope everyone’s Tuesday is amazing!

Pre-session computer woes

wpid-20150412_161844.jpgSo, I had a great session with a great group of college students early this evening. If you’re reading this, you guys/gals were an awesome audience!

But it must be a law or something that says you must have computer woes before a session. I got to the hotel nice and early so I could give my PowerPoint presentation one final look. Of course, you can’t have a PowerPoint presentation with errors…especially at a journalism conference!

So, with time to spare, I find a quiet corner, open my laptop and prepare to givwpid-20150412_165256.jpge it one more look.

But the computer had other ideas.

It decided to update. And it took 20 minutes.

As I watched the spinning wheel of death on my computer, I became more and more desperate, even making a secondary plan that didn’t include my PowerPoint. Frantically texted my best friend to let her know how distraught I was.

But, lo and behold, my computer gracefully updated. The presentation went as scheduled.

Thanks to my wonderful audience, it was a great session.

Meditation woes

wpid-img_20150215_234234.jpgI was having significant problems sleeping last night so I tried this app on my Kindle. I love guided Meditation so I was excited to try this app I found.

So I settled in, headphones on, trying to drown out the dog snores.

Breathe deeply. Got it. Imagine an ocean. Fantastic. I could almost feel the waves lapping my toes and the sunshine on my face. Relaxation in progress.

Then the app switches to another meditation…one in a room she coined a spa. Well, ok. That sounds nice. As she guides through the imagery I do pretty good. I imagine myself in this circular room, with deep blue tile and a rain ceiling with the smell of lavender all around me. There is a fountain on the other side, with a stream running to the center of the room, spilling into a hot tub type thing.

Then she guides my attention to the center of the room. Ok, cool! I get to go imagine sitting in my hot tub! She says in the center of the room is something oval. OK? An oval hot tub? I guess I can handle that. Then it all comes apart. She says the oval-shaped thing in the center is a bed filled with feather pillows. Um…so that blows my stream flowing into the center unless I want to sleep in a soaked bed.

So, I snap out of the meditation irritated and confused. Why would a bed be in my spa room? Why did she guide me to a fountain and then just drop me into an oval bed in the floor?

I prefer my hot tub, for sure. An oval bed makes no sense. I imaged this dark hole in the floor, oval-shaped, of course. Filled with feather pillows. I imagine myself falling into it…into the abyss.


I have a confession to make

So I have a confession to make.

wpid-20150329_140441.jpgHere goes.

I am a photo hoarder. I was looking in an application I use to back up my photos and I was shocked: in a little over two years I’ve acquired 10,898 photos. That’s 3,979 photos in 2013; 5,613 photos in 2014 and so far, in 2015, 1,298 (mind you, it’s only April). Clearly this problem is escalating for me.


What could I possibly have taken photos of to get my storage up to 10,898? Well, a little bit of everything. So, let’s take a trip into my photo storage and find out what’s in there. I’ve listed them below, in no particular order.

First, moments. Moments are so precious to me. Every single moment with a family member, friend or just out on a walk. I save ’em. And I could probably tell you the story behind at least 90 percent of those photos. I have a photographic memory, really.

Second, events. As a journalist, even if I’m not covering something, I take a ton of photos. Parades. Commission meetings. Accident and fire scenes. Family events. I can acquire 100 photos at a parade or family event. I’m constantly sneaking photos to the point where I turn the sound off my phone so nobody notices when I am grabbing the candids.

Third, my daily life. I love taking snapshots of my daily life. The flowers I saw on a walk. Sunrises. Sunsets. The way the street lights look through rain drops on a car window. The little dog on my route that I watched grow from a small puppy to the large dog he is today. Of course, there are my own dogs. I have  hundreds of pictures of them. Let’s not forget the barn cats I have at my house. Probably another couple of hundred. 8e2d9-img_0130

Fourth, downloads and screenshots. Ok, so I’ll admit, I don’t need to save these. But, I’ll call this one simply lazy. I just don’t feel like deleting them out of my storage.

Fifth, trips. This one is a major weakness for me. I take hundreds of photos — per trip. I document nearly each building I see, including the fine details of the architecture. Trees. Sunsets. The view from wherever I’m staying — multiple times a day. And of course, detail shots of the entire area I’m staying whether it’s a cabin or a hotel.

And yes, I take selfies. It’s interesting to look back on photos of myself — it’s amazing to see how much you change in a couple of years. Some of the more quirky pictures in my photo storage are hilarious selfies my mom and I sent back and forth to each other. We both swore we’d never show them to anyone else. They make me laugh just seeing them. But don’t tell my mom I saved hers!

wpid-sanddraw_0.2547671627253294.jpgSo, why do I need 10,898 photos? The memories of course and not to mention photography is a passion of mine and relieves stress for me. Do I plan on getting rid of any? Maybe the memes I don’t need or the screenshots, but the others, no. Photos are snapshots into our lives. I love to sit back sometimes and just review all mine. Sometimes I laugh. Sometimes I cry at the people and animals that in just a couple of short years are no longer in my life.

So, while I clearly have a problem with photo hoarding, at least they’re store digitally. Well, most of them anyway. We won’t dive into the boxes of CDs and boxes of print photos that I acquired prior to digital photography.