Hand signals

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I have asked eminent social psychologist and hand signal specialist the emeritus best-selling novelist & complete figment of my imagination, the Professor I.C. Patterns, to examine the above photo and tell us more about the characters by simply looking at their hands. He studied this photo carefully, and came up with several theories.  First, he cropped the photo to show only the hands. (Fig. 1). Note how the people in front of the man in the rear have colluded to exclude him from the photo. From this angle, he and his tiny hands completely disappear. Only the hands of the others remain. Continue reading

The parking ticket debacle. A nasty patient.

“We have a problem in front of our apartment building. There is a crosswalk, and there are parking spaces, and they overlap. It’s a busy area, and often the parking spaces are full, so people park in the spaces on the crosswalk. But lately the police have been giving tickets to the people parked there – notably me. (Cue lots of sad music.) I got three tickets. I wrote three nasty   very nice and polite letters protesting and saying I wouldn’t pay. Yesterday, I got a letter saying my objection had been denied, but, if I really wanted to plead my case, I could in front of the police tribunal here in  Mantes. Continue reading

Why do you pretend to be poor?

I know someone who is always complaining about money – about taxes – about how this person is sick of paying & paying taxes – and how unfair it is that the apartment in (insert big city) is going to be taxed because no one is living in it, and how unfair it is, because the kids like to stay in it every once in awhile.  And how this person would like to buy a new (insert car, shoes, watch – whatever – ) but how this person simply cannot afford it. How retirement is going to be wretched. How, all this person wants to do is help the children and grandchildren (have them get jobs, maybe?) – and how…well, every gripe possible about how difficult it is to make ends meet. This person is one of the 1%. Seriously. Don’t laugh. This person owns a house, two apartments, a thriving business – and this person pretends to be poor. Continue reading

Indelible ink

Two articles today caught my hummingbird attention. I was flitting over stories about damaged children from Syria; women who had been given a second chance by their archaic religion, which had changed to let them back into its fold; nuclear weapons in North Korea – when I stumbled upon two radically different takes on tattoos. In my defense, the article about the children made me wonder if God exists (I decided not, after reading the article). The article about Yazidism changing after a thousand years gave me faint hope for humanity. The article about North Korea made me wonder what China is really up to, and if my son should go to South Korea this autumn…So you can understand why the articles about the tattoos – something more frivolous and less tragic, would capture my attention.  Continue reading

Remembering Julia’s 4th of Julys

Julia was such an even-tempered, reasonable, sweet  child that it was a surprise when she had hysterics when the fireworks went off. The first time it happened, we were at Camp, in upstate NY, at the lake. We were at the docks – the swarms of evening mosquitos had tapered off, the bonfire was lit, the marshmallows were ready, and we settled back to enjoy the fireworks. When the first one shot into the air and exploded, Julia started screaming. It wasn’t a startled scream or a tantrum scream – it was a full-blown terror attack. My grandfather and I took her up the hill to the camp, then, because down on the porch it was still too loud and bright, we took her to the upstairs bunk room, where only one little window faced towards the lake. And from there, from behind the closed window, we watched the fireworks. Julia shivered and hiccoughed, but she’d calmed down enough to peek at the last one or two sparkly fountains of light. Since she was only just two, she couldn’t very well explain why she was scared, Continue reading

Winning the Campaign Manager

Winning the Campaign Manager
by Lucy Felthouse
Genre: Erotic paranormal romance, m/m
Blurb:
 
Politics has never
been so sexy!
Cade Avery is running for a position on his local county
council. He’s extremely good at what he does and is a valuable asset to his community. The trouble is, he upsets people, says the wrong things, and rides rough-shod over other people’s plans and ideas. His assistant, Mary, eager to
improve Cade’s public image, hires him a campaign manager.
Quentin Rayworth is thrilled to be working with such a
formidable public figure. It’ll be a challenge, but he’s confident he can help
Cade to win the election, and knows that the achievement will look impressive
on his CV.
It’s soon clear that the two men are set to be an excellent
team. That is, until Cade’s werewolf makes its intentions known—in Quentin, it
has found its mate, and it will not rest until he has claimed him. But can
Cade—and his wolf—win over the campaign manager?

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Space Pirate!

SamanthaWinston_TagorthePirate_coverinTAGOR THE PIRATE by Samantha Winston

Genre: erotic sci-fi, space opera

Gladys Hawke is the toughest woman in the galaxy. Former notorious smuggler, still wanted on dozens of planets, she’s now the ace pilot of the largest Federation trade ship, the Ever-Gee. She’s put her past behind her…except for the nightmares…and the holes in her memory.

But the past has a way of catching up with you…

Tagor the Pirate is wanted in twenty solar systems. He’s known for smuggling, insouciant quips, and his harem of slave women. It’s all an act. Eisonian empath, Admiral Tagor is actually a Federation spy on a mission to save the galaxy, and Gladys Hawke is his best hope.
If Tagor saves Gladys from her past, can she save Tagor from their powerful, passionate attraction and the deadly danger of their soulmate bond? Continue reading

The obligatory Hamster Post

My twins bugged me for years about getting hamsters, but since we had a cat I told them “no.” So when the cat died (of old age) the boys and I went to the pet shop and bought hamsters. I wanted two males or two females – of course we got one of each sex. And they had little wrestling matches (delighted comments from the boys) I rushed out and bought a second cage – too late – at 6 a.m. we were woken up by Sebi screaming that “Brownie has Kittens!” And sure enough – in Brownie’s cage were five tiny pink…things. Baby hamsters are Not cute in the beginning. The twins (aged 10) named the new babies (Verb, Adverb, Paragraph, Page, and Cootie.) Cootie being the runt of the litter.

My daughter, aged two, loved to play with the hamsters and would take them out of their cage. I would tell her to put them back or they’d bite. She didn’t care. She got bitten a few times but it just made her stop squeezing them so hard.

One day I was vacuuming the dining room and my daughter (2 years old) came running in screaming “Stop Stop – the babies are all over!” She’d taken them out to play and left them in the dining room. Horrified I stopped the vacuum cleaner and started to look for one-inch-long baby hamsters. I found four, but not Cootie. Hands shaking, I started to take apart my vacuum cleaner, when I noticed our dog, Fudge, lying under the table licking her paws.

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Eyes narrowed, I crouched down and said, “Fudge, bring it over here!” Sheepishly, she got up and walked over and spit a tiny hamster out onto my outstretched hand. The hamster was a little wet (well, a lot wet) but intact and perfectly fine. I sighed and put all the babies back with their mother, and put the cage high, where my daughter couldn’t reach it.

The baby hamsters all found good homes with the twins’ schoolmates. (The hamsters were also invited to spend a week in my daughter’s kindergarten class, where the mother hamster promptly bit the pricipal’s thumb much to the children’s delight.)

About a month later my daughter set the father hamster free in our garden. (“But he wanted to play in the bushes!”) and the mother hamster lived on for a few more years and then died peacefully in her bed. (Hamsters only live about 3 years, so don’t get too attached to them)Image associée

The twins, by then, had another hamster that they “rescued from a bunch of ‘wild hamsters’ in the pet shop that were picking on him” – he was the smallest hamster I’ve ever seen. He looked like a gray walnut with long, wild, Einstien hair.

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "long-haired gray hamster"He was so weak and sickly the boys named him Kenny – after the South Park character who was always dying. Kenny didn’t grow very much bigger, but he lived to a ripe old age of nearly 5 years – an amazing feat for a hamster. He was also the sweetest hamster, and never bit anyone, not even children or principals. When Kenny died, an old hamster practially all white by now and moving stiffly like an old man – (he died sitting in his food dish, so it took us a while to figure out he was actually dead) we decided to give away the hamster cage and not have anymore small animals. Until my daughter wanted goldfish. But that’s another story.

Auguste Update

Auguste is doing great! He’s better than ever, running around, eating like a horse (sorry Kalin) and back to his happy, bouncy, chatty self. We’re thrilled, so thankful to Frank and Cécile – Auguste’s devoted vets – and amazed he’s recovered so completely after his ordeal!

Auguste at Jackie’s house, just before his dive into the fish pond!

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