A cautionary tale for those of you traveling in wintry weather

"A Reno, Nevada couple got stranded in wintry conditions for three days in the high desert of Eastern Oregon when their SUV's GPS gave them misguided directions and took them down a wrong path. Ask me and I'll tell you that the only wrong path they took was trusting their GPS.
The Klamath County Sheriff, Tim Evinger, clearly a kinder soul than I, was quoted saying "GPS almost did 'em in and GPS saved 'em." Evinger said. "It will give you options to pick the shortest route. You certainly get the shortest route. But it may not be a safe route." After almost three days, they miraculously recovered a weak cellphone signal on a GPS-enabled phone which sent its coordinates to 911.
Actually what saved them was the fact that the couple, both in their mid-to-late 60s, were prepared for winter travel, carrying food, water and warm clothes. Their four-wheel drive Toyota Sequoia was pulled out of the snow with a winch after they were found by a Lake County deputy in the Winema-Fremont National Forest, outside the town of Silver Lake.
John Rhoads, 65, and his wife, Starry Bush-Rhoads, 67, made it home safely to Reno, Nev., Evinger said. "Their statement was, being prepared saved their life," he said."


Awwww, rats!

"(Dec. 28) -- Ready or not, here comes the future of reading. Amazon announced today that it sold more e-books this Christmas than it did the paper variety, a first in its history."

Okay, but...how do you wrap an e-book and give it to a friend?!

Well, so be it. Remember to, uh, download the re-release of Carrie Pilby this coming July!

Oh. My. God.

Someone from elementary school said hello to me on Facebook, I joined a group for my elementary school, and lo and behold there is a 2nd grade class photo that has me in it - and I'm even labeled! The person remembered my name! I loved 2nd grade. I almost cried when I saw this. I remember almost everyone. We spent half the year putting on "Pinocchio" and I was figaro, the cat. I'm on the right below the teacher, standing in red pants. Wow, what memories!


My e-mail to Accuweather today

Hi guys. I commented about this last week too. You have something called Weather Alarms which is pretty cool, but then when I look below at your 5-day forecast, it often contradicts your very own Weather Alarms! For instance, you say Heavy Rain Dec. 25 and 26 for your weather alarms. But in the forecast it says "scattered showers" or "chance of rain" or "partly sunny" for those days. Are your Weather Alarms meant to be hype, or are your 5-day forecasts purposely meeker? I think you should save the Alarms for something more than 'scattered showers' or be more consistent so we know to trust them. Example here.


3 quick things

1. TMZ is reporting that actress Brittany Murphy died!!! She was only 32. That's an unexpected one. It's not like she's in the news all the time doing dangerous stuff like Lindsay Lohan.

2. Michael Lynch sent this combonym:

Carcheology...the act of digging out your car after a snowstorm.

3. Today I learned that making French toast with egg whites and wheat bread may be heart-healthy, but not very tasty. (Surprise!)

PS Hi cutie!


I feel cold just looking at...

My favorite months, in order

1. October
2. September
3. August
4. November
5. December
6. July
7. June
8. May
9. January
10. April
11. February
12. March

February and March are the two most boring months ever. The weather is lousy without a holiday coming to justify it. I love the change of the seasons, whatever season it's changing to. But when it's the end of a slushy dull season, that's the worst, and that's why I don't look forward to February or March.

Things at least start to perk up in April, but not much. It rains every weekend. People start complaining about the rain, forgetting that it does that every year.

But right now we're in December, with the gently blinking lights and it's cold without being too too too cold. So rejoice!



I hope the kid is ok, but she is going to have to be in the hospital for months, fighting. I think TLC is putting a real spin on this one.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Dec. 11) -- An Arkansas couple featured on the reality TV show "18 Kids and Counting" now has 19.
Cable network TLC says 43-year-old Michelle Duggar gave birth to a 1-pound, 6-ounce daughter Thursday night during an emergency cesarean section. She'd been due March 18.
TLC says the child is in stable condition at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock.
The network airs the show starring Duggar, her 44-year-old husband and their brood. It says the Duggars named their 19th child and ninth daughter Josie Brooklyn. The Duggars' first grandchild was born Oct. 8.


Efficient hubby

My hubby has an idea for what he'd like to name a dog someday. He said today that he'd like to get two dogs and name them BOTH that name.

ME: Well, what happens when you call the name?
HIM: They both come!

Boy, is that efficient.


He did it

Somehow I came upon this blog entry of mine about a 2006 news report about a couple who were driving along a dark road, and somehow both the husband and wife got shot. The husband survived, however. Having heard of cases like this before, it seemed to me that the husband shot her and then injured himself to make it look like an accident.

Here's my blog entry about it.

Well, put their names into Google and you can see the result.
MEN: Something simple to improve your heart health

A public service message from Ned Vizzini about flossing.


Do you think

Do you think the first 30 or 40 years of your life are intended to set a foundation for you to enjoy the second half of your life?
In other words, did you spend all of those years working, dating, and undertaking projects in order to make sure you can enjoy (or at least be stable in) your later years? Or did you simply live in the moment and enjoy it and not think about the future?
I would guess that most people do a little of both.
Well, not when you're a kid. When you're a kid, aside from doing well in school, you're kind of off the hook regarding responsibilities for the future. The people you date at 15, if anyone, are very unlikely to be those you marry. You don't start a career then, either.
So maybe 20s and 30s are the main time to prepare for the rest of your life - starting a retirement fund (although who wants to think about being an old codger), looking for someone for a long-term relationship or marriage, getting involved in different things.
I guess you never really stop preparing, though. Even if you retire, there could still be 40 or more years of life ahead of you. Then a lot of your concerns probably become medical - what can I or can't I eat today, which doctor should I see.
I'm generalizing. I don't actually know the purpose of this entry. I was just kind of randomly thinking about the things you do in life to prepare for the future, and the things you do just for the sake of it.
Childhood was fun because of things done just for the sake of them. It's nice, I guess, when you can still fit those in to your adulthood, but sometimes you can find fun ways to prepare for the future too.
Well, the "Jersey Shore" reality show starts in a few hours. We're planning to watch it, and it will add nothing lasting to our lives!


Quote of the day

"Why would I want a Kindle? I would turn it INTO kindle!" - The Hubby


Nothing spells loving like marrying your cousin.

Sure to be a big hit - article in the Sunday Times about cousins who marry.


Your racist friend

So the Hubby and I were sitting at a basketball game. It was U Conn vs. Duke. There were some loud U. Conn fans near my husband (luckily, because he is a U. Conn fan) and some REALLY LOUD Duke fans next to me. One of them kept yelling pro-Duke things practically in my ear.

At one point, one of the Duke fans was talking about a U. Conn player and said, "Where is he from? Nigeria?"

So one of the U. Conn guys yelled to the Duke guy, "He's from New Hampshire. Way to be racist."

Uh oh, I thought.

The Duke guy yelled back, "Don't be so thin-skinned."

The U. Conn guy responded, "You see one black guy on the team and you say he's from Africa."


Anyway, Hubby just looked it up on the internet, and the guy really IS from Nigeria!


Response from Blogfan Sam

"Possible plot- Zombies have control of all the new socks in the world, and Carrie must attend a Zombie Harvard party in hopes of getting a pair.
Sorry, couldn't help myself."

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to any of the six of you who are still reading this. Seriously, I am honored to know you and be read by you. Please feel free to email me some time and let me know what is going on with your life. Have a wonderful holiday!!


Steampunk. Do you feel lucky?

From Publisher's Lunch, the daily digest of books that are sold to publishers:

Children's/Young Adult
Lia Habel's DEARLY, DEPARTED, a maximalist, post-apocalyptic, neo-Victorian steampunk zombie novel in which a girl, whose blood is impervious to the "Z-virus," searches for her missing dad, is kidnapped by (good) zombies, falls improbably in love with a rather sweet zombie boy, and sets out to save the world from a zombie plague beyond imagining, to Chris Schluep at Ballantine, in a two-book deal, by Chris Lotts at Ralph M. Vicinanza.

And you may ask yourself: What the heck is STEAMPUNK!?!?!?

Well, it's a genre of young-adult literature that is historical, except, with futuristic inventions.
I suppose this came out of the love of Jane Austen-type romantic settings, combining them with the desire for vampire/zombie-supernatural type stuff.

No, I do not plan to write these or have any interest in them. I guess that makes me out of touch, though.
I am just surprised that something so odd has its own genre, but I guess you never know what will strike an audience!

So now you've learned something today.

By the way, did you notice that they mentioned the word "zombie" four times in one paragraph?

I should change my novel name to Carrie Pilby with Zombies.


My take on the issues

"The high-level United States Preventative Services Task Force of scientists and researchers Monday recommended that breast cancer screening in women should now start at the age of 50 as opposed to 40.

"And it further said that women between the ages of 50 to 74 should be screened every two years instead of annually."

Yeah, definitely. Catching cancer earlier means more stress. If you've got cancer, do you really want to know? NO! Stress is bad for you.

It is better to wait so you are further along and won't have to be faced with all those pesky choices of treatment.

(*Note to sensitive types: Heavy sarcasm was at work)

Good idea, Task Force!



I found my fudge! And it has a name: Caramoo


I wrote to the company yesterday:

The caramel crumble is exactly what I've been looking for for YEARS!!! I wrote a blog entry a while ago about this kinda crumbly fudge candy I used to get in the bulk candy section of CVS in the '80s that I adored.

I even sent them this letter months ago, but they said they didn't know the answer:

Years ago, in the early 1980s, CVS used to sell bulk candy that you'd scoop out of different containers. There was a really great vanilla fudge candy, individually wrapped, that had a picture of a cow on it. I loved it and it was delicious!!! At some point you stopped selling it, and then later you stopped selling bulk candy altogether (at least, as far as I can tell here in NJ). Can you tell me what company used to make those individually wrapped vanilla fudge candies you sold, or what they were called? Thanks! [email address]

I found out about Caramoo by looking around the web, and I saw a review on Amazon describing it. SO I ordered a few flavors. Caramel crumble is the one I've been searching for!

I'm going to tell all my friends and write about it on my blog, www.addledwriter.com. So thank you again for making such great candy...and for being so kind!

Caren ------
Caramoo fan

I said they were kind because UPS kinda botched my order so they sent me MORE!!


The hard part of a song

There's the age-old question of why writers of Hollywood scripts don't get more credit, or at least nearly as much as the director. What is a movie but its story?
Here's another one. When two people write a song, often one writes the music and the other writes the lyrics.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but it is way harder to come up with original music than it is to come up with lyrics. There are, of course, exceptions: There are brilliantly written songs, brilliant lines in songs, brilliant poetry, and some fantastic Broadway lyrics that I marvel at.
But like, to come up with music that is original and catchy, and doesn't sound like anyone else? That is the height of talent.
People like songs for the melody, not for the lyrics (usually). If you have great lyrics with a song that isn't pleasing to listen to, your song will go nowhere.

Example: Here's the Black Eyed Peas song that's popular now. It's completely a dance song and a bar mitzvah song for 13-year-olds. But it's on the radio ALL the time and quite popular.

It is NOT popular for its lyrics, which are:

I gotta feeling that tonight’s gonna be a good night
That tonight’s gonna be a good night
That tonight’s gonna be a good good night

Tonight’s the night night
Let’s live it up
I got my money
Let’s spend it up
Go out and smash it
Like Oh My God
Jump off that sofa
Let’s get get off

I know that we’ll have a ball
If we get down
And go out
And just loose it all
I feel stressed out
I wanna let it go
Lets go way out spaced out
And losing all control

Fill up my cup
Mazel tov
Look at her dancing
Just take it off
Lets paint the town
We’ll shut it down
Let’s burn the roof
And then we’ll do it again

Lets Do it (x5)
And live it up
Lets Do it (x5)
I gotta feeling that tonight’s gonna be a good night
That tonight’s gonna be a good night
That tonight’s gonna be a good good night
A feeling
That tonight’s gonna be a good night (x2)
That tonight’s gonna be a good good night

Oh God, this song gives me a headache.* But I can see that it can make people get up and bounce around. It's sure not because of the lyrics!
And really, if they took the time, they could have come up with better lyrics. Anyone can come up with good lyrics if they've got a good tune. That's the easy part.
I don't think their intent was to write Shakespeare here; it's to make people dance. And to make people request the song at clubs. It's not "Where is the Love?" (Closer to Let's Get Re...I mean, Let's Get It Started.)
They have succeeded in their intent, and they've done their job. My only point is that it's the song that is the real work - not the words...with a few exceptions.

*(Note to hubby: No, you don't have to turn it off when it comes on in the car. I'll live!!)


More crap from my camera


Saw this in the Urban Dictionary today

Piglet Flu

During times of pandemic, the common flu is known as Piglet Flu. While less deadly than Swine Flu, it still makes you feel like shit. However, because it is not infamous like swine flu, you get no respect from having it. So you feel like crap and no one gives a damn because you don't have h1n1.
Doctor: How do you feel.
Patient: Like shit.
Doctor: Well the tests came back, you don't have swine flu. So get the hell out you lazy good for nothing bastard. Come back with a real illness.


Protesting too much??

ME: (reading headlines on the internet): "Woman finds frog in bag of salad."
HUBBY: I had nothing to do with it.


Random recent stuff

Lower East Side, NY

In the bathroom of a pretty cool restaurant called Public

Recent storm

Pumpkin French toast at Turning Point, a restaurant chain in NJ that specializes in breakfast and lunch items. It is GREAT. Check it out on the internet, then come visit us and we'll go.

Halloween night in my town.



What is it with you men, going after women 100 years younger than you! Can't he be with someone his own age? And imagine how sickened she will get on her wedding night when she gazes upon his wilted peepee. Oy!

When they talk about '90s music, he'll really mean the 1890s!!! Ewww!

A Somali man who claims to be 112 years old has married for the sixth time, and he hopes to have children with his 17-year-old bride.
Hundreds of people attended the wedding this week in the town of Guriceel in central Somalia, according to reports Thursday by the BBC as well as in The Daily Telegraph and The Guardian newspapers.
"Today God helped me realize my dream," groom Ahmed Muhamed Dore said, according to The Guardian.
The bride, Safia Abdulleh, did not comment, but her family said she was "happy with her new husband" -- even though he is nearly a century her senior.


A highlight

I recently got an e-mail asking me to write an intro to the literary magazine for the high school that I graduated from in Central Jersey. I'm very honored to have been deemed successful enough at my writing that they actually care. Now I actually have to come up with something cogent.

And no, it won't say, "Incidentally, Carrie Pilby would make a great summer reading assignment for today's literary-minded youth."


Blogfan Sam writes in from Hawaii:

"Just a theory, but the only reason this is even news is because the David Letterman story made such big news. It's the way the news business works. One big story opens the door for similar stories that wouldn't ordinarily be national news (or even local news). Example, one female teacher is caugth having sex with a student making national news, then suddenly any such story is automaticly national news. No doubt teachers had sex with students before this, but it never made news. Really, who cares if a sportscaster cheats on his wife with a co-worker? The rest of the world doesn't really need to know. Those involved have enough to worry about without being on national news."


Oh my

This is interesting. The ESPN guy in the affair is continually called handsome, while the 22-year-old woman is the "Tubby Temptress" and other choice names. I kinda feel bad for her in that respect.


Combonym of the day

Twitwit - n. - Someone who comes off as idiotic on Twitter.
This is terrible. What a country.

Homeless at 97, Begging in L.A. Area

AOL News
posted: 18 HOURS 45 MINUTES AGO
comments: 44
filed under: NATIONAL NEWS
Text SizeAAA
(Oct. 17) -- The sign on the window of the old black Suburban, published in The Los Angeles Times, says it all.
"I am 97 years old. Homeless. Broke. Need help please."
Skip over this content

Deano, Splash News

Bessie Mae Berger is 97 and homeless. She has outlived three husbands and all but two of her children and now spends her nights in a black Suburban SUV on the streets of Los Angeles.

Bessie Mae Berger was born in 1912. The Times tells of her hard life: losing all but two of her children, either to death or to simply losing touch, and outliving three husbands.
She used to live in Palm Springs. Her son Larry Wilkerson cared for her full-time through a state program, a job he held for more than 20 years.
Then the owner of their home had to sell. The state cut Larry and his mother from the support program, the newspaper reported.
Skip over this content
Together with Berger's other son Charlie Wilkerson -- who collects disability -- they've tried desperately to find a government-subsidized home. But they've been stymied because mother and sons insist on staying together.
"There's a million empty homes here in California, but they can't seem to find one we can live in," Larry told the paper. At least in the Suburban, she's not alone.
Occasionally Bessie Mae Berger begs for money. People accuse her of lying about her age, but she has a state-issued ID card with her birth date.
This week they happened to meet comedian Kevin Nealon at a gas station, who was with the owner of a popular club, the Laugh Factory. The club owner gave them pizza for dinner.
But no one seems to be able to give them a home.
Read the full story, and hear the audio slide show, from the The Los Angeles Times.



Another question

How come there are only signs for slow children playing? What about average children?



What color do evergreen trees turn in fall?


Trip to Concord, Mass. last fall.



Recently, the tracking program I use started telling me the phrases that people put into Google that led people to my website.

Recent ones include:

"single professional men binghamton ny "

Well, sorry, I didn't see any. Come to think of it, I don't think I saw any PEOPLE there.

"indoor dog restroom reviews"

Are the dogs writing the restroom reviews?

"do you need to sleep with hef to be playmate of month"

Answer: Probably.


Train station, Philadelphia

Bridge in Trenton

More later.


Of interest

This girl writes an essay about how when she was little, she got picked on for being fat. Nowadays, if she is friends with very pretty girls, they boss her around. It's amusing to read, anyway. What do you think?

I've always wondered about how a person's looks dictate his/her personality and behavior. Put someone in a good-looking body and they are just going to have different experiences (and expectations of friendships/relationships) that an average or below average person, probably. Not always, but some of the time.


'The Potty Patch' indoor restroom for dogs


This is an awesome and amazing photo




Well, it's almost our anniversary, and hubby bought me a beautiful "I love you" bracelet. I love it.

I was joking that we'd almost surpassed Shannen Doherty's marriage, but actually, after using a highly technical research technique (Google) I have determined that we have outlasted Shannen's TWO marriages! They were about a year long each. Who knew?

We've also outlasted McKensie Phillips' relationship with her dad. Haw haw.


Dialogue with The Hubby

ME: (Looking at internet): Oh, look! You can buy a home in Rockford, Ill. for under $30,000!
HUBBY: You know what's in Rockford?
ME: The Rockford files?
HUBBY: Nothing. Absolutely NOTHING!


Separated at birth?

Timothy Geitner and Seth Meyers?

Am I the only one who thinks so?



My mom called me a few days ago to ask what happened to the fox terrier in the newspaper. Every week, there is a dog up for adoption in the paper. I work for that paper, and she gets copies of it in her building each week. Occasionally a dog will strike her fancy and she will call me to find out if the dogs was adopted. It's not that she wants the dog for herself; she just feels bad for it and wants to make sure it's happy.
"They said it was a sweet dog that likes to be petted,' she said. "I felt so bad that it doesn't have a home."
As angry as I can get at her other times, I remember how loving she can be. And as I get older, the naivete dissolves, this feeling that she will live forever. She's been claiming since I was a little kid that she was "dying." She wasn't imagining it; she did have severe medical problems. At some point she finally got the right treatment.
She has other health problems, too. Yet, she worries about a dog in the newspaper. A few weeks ago I went to visit her in her apartment and she baked me a cake, the first time she had done that since I was a little girl. She is still my mom and still wants to be.
I don't know how I will feel when one of my parents passes away, but the grief will probably be a lot deeper than I realize now.
I have met a lot of Baby Boomers lately who talk about how they have to take care of their parents. I guess my generation will see that happen too in the next few decades. It's not our turn yet, but in maybe 20 years it will be.
But for now my mother is still here, so I am lucky for that. The truth is, she is a worrier, and she probably will live a lot longer than she thinks. That reminds me, I have to call her and tell her that the dog got adopted into a good home.


Wait! Wait!

Check out this review! I am on to something here!! I guess Caramoo is it.
Vanilla fudge?

So far no luck finding my long lost vanilla fudge candies. They had the texture and taste of pralines without the nuts (good!) But they were sold individually wrapped as bulk candy.

Some have suggested Cow Tales (and thanks!) but that ain't it. And those are heavily caramel influenced.

I did find something similar in shape and possibly flavor, although it also has caramel in it. And the company is not that old, so I don't think it was around in the eighties. I'd love to try these and maybe eventually I will.

If they're chewy and stretchy like caramel, though, I'm not interested; I can find vanilla caramel anywhere. I want my old flakier vanilla fudge candies! Not creamy but craggy. They say that these are "crumbly" which would be perfect. I like fudge when it's been in the air a bit and gets a bit harder. If you've had New Orleans pralines, it's like that.

Here is a photo of a cross section of their crumbly caramels, which leads me to believe that maybe I would like these.


A reality show in the making

"Calling all cougars and the young men who love them: The first ever International Cougar Cruise wants you.
Singles Travel Company and The Society of Single Professionals are co-sponsoring the 3-night party cruise on Carnival this December, according to the Cruise Log Blog on USATODAY, and specifically for cougars and "cubs," lingo for young men with a thing for older women. "The truth is that there are millions of American men who find older women attractive," Rich Gosse, chairman of the Society of Single Professionals and innovator of the Cougar Cruise idea, told the The Chicago Tribune And, he adds, they are "frankly more interested in sex than money."
The cruise sets sail Dec. 4, and prices start at $125 per person, which includes cocktail parties and Cougar Cruise events."


In memory of those who died



I don't think Polo Ralph Lauren exists anymore.

Try to find something from there on line. (Not just regular Ralph Lauren.)

Weird, huh? Am I missing something?


Binghamton, N.Y.

Binghamton is a freight train hub.

Court Street

The lighting was just right on this one.

Note that the old wall sign advertises Coke as "delicious and refreshing, relieves fatigue" but...the two hanging signs in front of two stores advertise Pepsi!

Typewriter fixing is not as lucrative today as it once was.

According to Adorable Hubby, people say that this guy may be the next Jose Reyes. People were even singing the "Ole, ole ole ole" song when he came up to bat. Unfortunately, he got caught stealing a base.

Another guy who has been said to be on the rise for the Mets. These were both taken at the Binghamton Mets stadium (AA).

Furniture store

View from window in the morning.

TRIP RECOMMENDED, OR NO? Um, maybe, but only for one night if you like to go to minor league games and/or see old towns and freight trains. There was very little to see and a lot of businesses were closed. Maybe pair it with stops in more interesting towns in Upstate N.Y.

I also put some of these photos on my Facebook account.


Life is not fair

On one hand, you have that family, the Duggars, who had their 18th baby last December and will have their 19th next March. Their cable show is "18 Kids and Counting." The mother just announced that she is pregnant with their 19th child and she turns 43 next weekend.

Meanwhile, you have a hopeful, childless couple from Australia, whose blog I ended up at a while ago (link is below).

They are 41 years old. This is the second marriage for the male half of the couple. His first marriage ended several years ago when he found out his wife was cheating. Anyway, after his divorce, he returned home, reconnected with a childhood friend, and fell madly in love with her. They got married.

Then, she got pregnant. Their first child was stillborn. Imagine carrying a baby for nine months and then having to lose it at birth?
After all of that grieving, they hoped to get pregnant again.

Then, luckily, they got pregnant again. She delivered successfully and they brought their baby home.

Six weeks later, the baby died suddenly from what doctors said was a 1-in-40,000 virus.

She got pregnant again last year, at the age of 40. Finally, they were going to have a baby! This week, at the age of 41, she gave birth.

This is their third loss. All they want is one baby. Not 18. Not 19.

Happening to have read about both of these events on the same day, it just seems so unfair. All the latter couple want is one baby. It is breaking their hearts.

The former couple just keeps having one a year and will be up to 19 kids. They also don't believe in certain prenatal care, and other refinments. Maybe they can give their next baby to the Australian couple and ease their pain? Okay, probably won't happen. There's really no conclusion here, just that it's really not fair at all.


Sometimes everyday things can be quite colorful.


Darn! They should have pored over decades of paperwork then!!!

Dear Ms. _______:

Thank you for contacting CVS/pharmacy.

I am happy to hear that we once carried a candy that you thoroughly enjoyed. Unfortunately, we do not have any recollection of the candy you are referring to or who the manufacturer may have been. I am sorry I am unable to provide you with the information you are requesting.

Again, thank you for contacting CVS/pharmacy.




Customer Relations