Sunday, July 31, 2016

101 Things to Do with School Supplies

First of all, let’s get one thing straight. There. That was the only ‘counting’ we’ll be doing in this article! 101 things? That’s ridiculous. There are probably a million things to do with School Supplies (but remember, no counting)!

If you have ever wondered if you are truly a writer, take this simple test. Walk into just about any department store or variety store or drugstore during the back-to-school period of late summer. Stop inside the doorway, take a deep breath, and let the cares of the world slip off your shoulders. Never mind that three people just crashed into your back and are cussing at you for stopping so suddenly in the doorway; move to the side a little bit and close your eyes. They can’t see you if your eyes are closed right?

Now then, pretend that you don’t have a million things to do (Have you been counting again?), and that you’re not illegally parked in a handicapped spot. Pretend you have lots of money. Ok, pretend something easier; pretend that everything in the store is free today! Now open your eyes because you are drooling and people are starting to stare, and start walking because here comes the security guard. Which way are your feet taking you? Well get back in here and let’s try this again!

After you’ve gotten rid of all the cares of the world again etcetera etcetera, and settled down, start walking into the store, and just see where you go. If, like me, you are simply drawn to those 3 or 4 aisles packed with the latest in School Supplies, then you are a writer! Well, maybe you’re a kid going back to school or something. But every true writer will be magnetically enchanted by those School Supplies. A writer is a person who just has so much to say, that even in the age of word processors and internet publishing, pen and paper still beckon as the essential tools of personal fulfillment.

School Supplies Rule!

Personally, my handwriting is so bad, and my flare for losing notebooks is so flamboyant, that I can’t stand all that paper and pens and stuff, but I am still enchanted by the vast potential in those aisles of binders and trappers and keepers and pens and markers and pencils and giant packages of loose leaf paper! I don’t care if it is college ruled! I want all of it and I want it now! Good thing it’s all free today, or I’d be stopped on the way out. Wait, I’m not there, you are. Fill a cart for me will you, and run, but don’t worry because your get-a-way car is right by the door remember?

Once you’ve made it home with the goods; assuming you weren’t nabbed by someone who doesn’t appreciate what it means to be a writer, get cramped into some small corner, neglect your family, and begin to drain those pens of ink, and the pencils of lead, and fill every square inch of paper with the wise and witty, or poetic and profound. Repeat those four things 250,000 times and just like that: You have done a million things with your new treasure from the School Supply Aisle!

Ah yes. As I gaze longingly through the bars, I can only wish I were there with you again this year (I will be, in 3 to 5!). Bottles of glue, and scissors; staplers and index cards (3 x 5s are good, but so are the 4 x 6s); pencil pouches and little bitty sharpeners; fine, medium and large tipped markers and good old number twos: I hope you writers appreciate all that you have out there, and fully partake, of the School Supply Aisle.

Tags:101 Things to Do with School Supplies

10/10/10: Sunday is a "Binary" Day & Historic Too

The date 10/10/10 is fun for anyone who likes binary concepts and history. What will you do on 10/10/10? It seems like a fun date to do some history preservation, so you have some items to preserve with this unusual date stamped on it.

Some people will be enchanted by this unusual date of 10/10/10 and others won’t care at all. I think it is fun to be part of humanity on a date where alignment of numbers occurs.

The front pages of newspapers all over the world will be interesting on Sunday. It will be fun to see which paper has the most humorous headline shouting out from the front page.

There are many ways to capture the experience of the date 10/10/10 to preserve memories of the day. I offer a few ideas below. If you have other ideas write an article or add a comment below.

10/10/10: Document This Date

Preserve a Newspaper

The day 10/10/10 is a good day to buy the newspaper and save it. Later in life if may be fun to look back at the paper and remember what life was like at this time.

Try to Get Letter Postmarked 10/10/10

If you drop off mail at the Post Office late Saturday, workers may stamp it on Sunday. Some Post Offices may have workers on staff then. It would be cool to get a letter with the postmark 10/10/10.

Post a Special Voice Message

Leave a special voice message for someone and mention the date. Perhaps that will be a message they will want to save.

Make a Collage

If you have kids and want to preserve history for them, make a collage of some news headlines on 10/10/10. You could also find some funny articles about events of the day to add to the collage.

Math Geeks & Binary Fun

If you are a bit of a math geek and would enjoy seeing some “binary” ideas to enjoy 10/10/10 go to a Wired article HERE.


My Ideas


Tags:10/10/10: Sunday is a “Binary” Day & Historic Too

101 Uses for a Dead Tea Bag

1. Try to make another cuppa from it.

2. Use to make compost

3. Makes a great SMACK when tossed hot onto walls.

4. Dog toy for small dogs.

5. Can be used for a quick hot compress for itchiness or sore eyes.

6. Dead chamomile tea bags make a nice quick hand wash.

7. Place a dried dead tea bag on the floor. When someone walks by, point to it and shriek, “EEK! A mouse!”

8. Dried dead tea bags are flammable fun.

9. Hot wet dead tea bags make great non-lethal projectiles at whoever interrupts you before you’re done your first cuppa.

10. When experiencing writer’s block, make a list called “101 Uses for a Dead Tea Bag”.

11. Biodegradable modern sculpture.

12. Save on paint by gradually staining your room of choice.

13. For those mathematically inclined, determine how many dead tea bags it takes to get to the moon and back.

14. Make a pendulum of one (See A Witch Alone by Marion Green, p 120).

15. To commemorate a great cuppa, make a death mask of the dead tea bag.

16. If you’ve had a stroke of good luck while brewing tea, carry the dead tea bags around with you for a good luck charm.

17. So much fun to squeeze!

18. After pouring the last drops of tea from the pot, use the dead tea bags for a quick wipe around. You’ll be amazed at how much gunk they remove…and probably a little frightened, too.

19. Use three or more for safe juggling practice (unless you use them hot from the pot).

20. Out of banana peels? Use hot wet dead tea bags on a busy footpath and sit back for a front row seat to the fun.

21. Imagine one is the testicle of your cheating bastard of a husband. Mangle to your heart’s content. You’ll save a fortune in therapy bills.

22. Use them to repave the front porch.

23. To make a stench that will knock you sideways: Store all of your dead tea bags in an air-tight glass jar. Leave it for a month. Then open it.

24. The perfect present for those who have everything.

25. Want to leave school or work early? Put a dead tea bag in your fist. Fake a coughing fit. Slip the dead tea bag in your mouth. Pretend to hack up dead tea bag in front of school nurse/boss and say, “I don’t feel so good.”

26. Open one up to see if any letter Ts are in there. Compare them to any other letters of the alphabet you may find.

27. In survival situations, it’s better than nothing when you are out of toilet paper.

28. Sell it on eBay under “Collectables: Other”.

29. Bronze baby’s first cuppa along with the booties.

30. Stare at each dead bag you come across until, one momentous day, you find one with the face of Elvis on it. Set up your home as a tourist attraction.

31. Get twenty dead tea bags of one color and twenty of another color. Use them in the place of checker pieces.

32. Get a tobacco tin. Fill with the dried out contents of dead black tea bags, which look exactly like rolling tobacco. When you come across a smoker having nicotine fit, give him the tin, and then move to a short distance before he takes that first puff. Don’t worry, he’s a smoker-he can’t run far.

33. Throw a tea party for people you don’t like. Wrap them as beautifully as you can. Give them away as party favors.

34. If playing Truth or Dare, dare opponent to eat one.

35. Make a scrapbook of them with ribbons and cute captions for each flattened dead tea bag.

36. Soothe tired feet by sticking hot dead tea bags between your toes.

37. Ear wipes.

38. Use in place of frog for dissection class. Most biology teachers have sniffed too much formaldehyde to notice.

39. Name your band Dead Tea Bags and use actual dead bags in videos and promotional material.

40. Sacrifice one every spring to ensure this year’s tea harvest.

41. Make a Witch’s Jar to keep bad luck from your home. Fill a jar with items like bits of glass, rusty nails, cat poo and dead tea bags. Bury it as close to your home as you legally can.

42. Belly button jewelry.

43. Open up a dried dead tea bag. Sprinkle contents liberally around. Makes a great mess, eh?

44. Write poetry about a dead tea bag in the style of you favorite poet. This one is in the style of Ogden Nash: “The Lord in His wisdom made the perfect tea/ And then forgot to give any to me.”

45. Make a T-shirt (what else?) that says “Dead Tea Bag”. Look superior to those who don’t get it.

46. Yell “Dead tea bags!” in the place of your favorite swear word.

47. Open one. Sew back up. If you can do it, can you give me a call about darning my socks?

48. Leave a wet dead tea bag in a glass or cup overnight. Makes a great bug catcher.

49. If you make a cuppa with Holy Water, use the dead tea bag to baptize babies.

50. Sit on a dead tea bag and meditate on it.

51. Tie one to a piece of string and go cat fishing with it.

52. Make ducks swear at you by tossing them in the water in place of bread crumbs.

53. Turns puddles a different color.

54. For the philosophically inclined-determine how many dead tea bags can dance on the head of a pin.

55. On a similar note, if a dead tea bag falls alone in a forest and no one is around to hear it, will anyone care?

56. Toss onto stage at Tom Jones in place of underwear.

57. Hold a séance to contact the sprits of dead tea bags. Are there pots, kettles and cups on the other side? Does God take one lump or two?

58. To help cure somebody of their tea phobia: Try gradually desensitizing them to looking at and then handling dead tea bags before looking at and handling live ones.

59. Pretend it’s the OTHER testicle of your cheating bastard of a husband and suitably mangle to your heart’s content. I realize that this is basically the same as #21, but the exercise is worth repeating.

60. Put out campfire sparks with wet dead tea bags.

61. Put out cigarette sparks (blims) with wet dead tea bags.

62. To soak up really REALLY small spills: Rip open a dried, dead tea bag. Pour contents onto spill. Wait a few seconds for it to soak up. Sweep up mess. This method is recommended for those of us who really like to waste time.

63. Can’t get rid of a nagging worry? Pretend to put the worry in a dead tea bag, and then throw it out. As it rots, the worry will gradually disappear. What? You have a better idea?

64. To start a campfire: Take three or more dried dead tea bags and pour out contents. Fill bags with bits of candle wax or firelighter. Place beneath loosely scrunched old paper or old dry leaves, then light. Place twigs in a crosshatched pattern on the blaze, then add bigger sticks as the fire strengthens.

65. Go up to a smoker smoking. Pick up a wet tea bag and drop it on the ground, saying, “That’s what your lungs currently look like.” Then run. Remember, you won’t have far to run-your pursuer is a smoker.

66. For the really macho-remove the dead tea bag from your freshly brewed cup of tea with your teeth.

67. For the incurably insane-do the above with your tongue.

68. To celebrate a ghost’s death day, make tea with dead tea bags. (Inspired by JK Rowling’s Harry Potter & The Chamber of Secrets)

69. Give your dead tea bags their own public cable access channel in the US, a show on Channel 4 in the UK.

70. Empty a dried dead tea bag. Makes a great parachute for crippled mosquitoes.

71. Superglue one to the sidewalk and have hours of free entertainment watching passersby try to pick it up.

72. Immediately awaken a snorer by shoving up his nose.

73. Shove it up your own nose for no particular reason.

74. Material for hatchet practice.

75. Great ammunition for pacifists.

76. Start a new fad-pet dead tea bags.

77. Make a really cheap lava lamp with dead tea bags and Karo syrup. Granted, the bags will only seem to be moving after coming an entire bottle of Nyquil.

78. Bring a jar full of dead tea bags to your family gatherings to insure you never being inviting to any ever again (see #23)

79. Watch David Letterman every night for the sole purpose of seeing if he ever does a Top Ten list on dead tea bags.

80. Make Beethoven fans tear their hair out by singing to the tune of the Fifth Symphony, “DEAD-DEAD TEA BAAAAAG! DEAD-DEAD TEA BAAAAAG!”

81. Forgot your mantra? You never will again if your mantra is “Dead tea bag.”

82. Fill broken kettles, pots and mugs with dead tea bags so there will be tea in the afterlife.

83. Write a book called The Complete Idiots Guide® to Dead Tea Bags

84. Not autumn? To recreate the feeling of jumping into a pile of leaves, jump into a pile of dead tea bags.

85. Shoot one up into outer space. See how many alien bumper stickers it can collect while in orbit.

86. When diagnosing someone for sinusitis, make the patient say “dead tea bag.” If it comes out “neth ee nagth” then BINGO! It’s definitely sinusitis.

87. Learn the words “dead tea bag” in every single language known to man.

88. Take to Star Trek conventions and sell as tribble poo.

89. Stick one in your ear. Whenever anyone asks you, “Why do you have a dead tea bag in your ear?” reply “Sorry, I can’t hear you-I have a dead tea bag in my ear.”

90. Makes a crap sandwich filling.

91. Stick one inside a nuclear reactor and see how long it takes for it to take over the world.

92. Use the dried ingredients for homemade incense.

93. Stick one in someone’s beer. See if they notice the difference.

94. Stick one in a coffee drinker’s coffee, telling them sternly that this is the no coffee section.

95. Pinky pillows.

96. Use as sandbags to prevent flooding of anthills.

97. Use in place of potato for Mr. Potato Head. Makes a quick game only.

98. Throw some hot wet dead tea bags on a canvas and make a fortune selling it in a gallery as a lost Jackson Pollack.

99. The inevitable:

100. Put a video of all the above suggestions up on YouTube.

101. The person who dies with the most – wins!

Tags:101 Uses for a Dead Tea Bag

101 Ways to Say I Love You - Some Great Tips to Help You Show How Much You Care

When was the last time you told your partner or someone close how much you loved them? Love is one of the most wonderful feelings. Here are 101 inspirational ways to express those feelings and show how much you love your family and friends.

  1. Sometimes saying “I love you” is not enough if you say it every day or it sounds as if you don’t mean it. Why not add “I love the way you …” Or tell them “You’re special because …”
  2. Whisper “I love you” in their ear when they’re least expecting it.
  3. Write a love letter and leave it on your lover’s pillow
  4. Buy some alphabet magnets and leave a message on the refrigerator
  5. Stick love notes around the house
  6. Find Poems and Quotations that express the feelings you can’t put into words
  7. Send them flowers
  8. Learn to say the words you want to say in another language
  9. You might thank parents or someone who has always been there for you for teaching you to love unconditionally
  10. Send a text message to someone you don’t get the chance to see every day
  11. Offer to give them a massage
  12. Arrange it so at least once a week you do things together
  13. Send a card or gift for no reason
  14. You might thank a friend for being there at a time when you were down, to help you pick up the pieces of your life and make you whole again
  15. You might thank a teacher or lecturer for their guidance and additional encouragement to help you achieve and have faith in your abilities
  16. There may be someone you’d like to tell “I couldn’t have done it without you!”
  17. Give them breakfast in bed one day and insist they spend the whole day relaxing
  18. Book an overnight or weekend trip away as a surprise for them
  19. Sneak an “I love you note” in their handbag, briefcase or lunchbox
  20. Ask them what they want to do today and make this a priority
  21. Take them to the theatre
  22. Treat them with respect and really listen to their opinions
  23. Give out spontaneous hugs
  24. Hold hands when you go for walks
  25. Give a kiss, caress, gentle touch when they least expect it
  26. Do their household chores for them when they look tired
  27. Cook them a meal
  28. Write a message on the bathroom mirror while they’re in the shower
  29. Send them a card or write a love letter
  30. Suggest joint things you can do together
  31. Encourage their dreams
  32. Be there for them when they need you
  33. Remember their birthday and other special anniversaries
  34. Say nice things about them when they aren’t around
  35. Give them a compass wrapped with ribbons with a message “You are my North, South, East and West.”
  36. Dedicate a song to them on a local radio station
  37. Place an advert in a local paper letting them know how much you care
  38. Share a secret
  39. Make up a special CD of love songs
  40. Go out for a meal together
  41. Encourage them to share their hopes and dreams
  42. Give compliments when they are due
  43. Listen to their worries and anxieties
  44. Choose a special favourite song that’s meaningful for the two of you
  45. Plan a joint holiday
  46. Celebrate their successes
  47. Be excited for them when they’re happy
  48. Respect their love for their family
  49. Watch the sunrise or sunset together
  50. Laugh with each other but never at each other
  51. Have fun together
  52. Keep a photograph of them in your purse or wallet
  53. Play games together
  54. Send a card or an e-card
  55. Tell them how proud you are to be with them
  56. Go singing and splashing in the rain with each other
  57. Fill an album with photos of the moments you’ve shared
  58. Give them the most precious gift of all: your time
  59. Buy them a bunch of flowers when they’re feeling down
  60. Always put them first
  61. Give without counting the cost
  62. Cook them their favourite dish
  63. Sing a karoke duet with them
  64. Buy a gift for no reason other than you know they’ll like it
  65. Take their dog for a walk
  66. Stick up for them in front of other people
  67. Never try to censor their friendships
  68. Always respect they have their own views and you won’t always agree with each other
  69. Call them up to let them know you’re thinking about them
  70. Pay them a surprise visit if you’re separated by distance
  71. Flirt with your partner
  72. Plan the occasional surprise
  73. Ask them if they’ve had a good day
  74. Always be truthful with them
  75. Trust them as much as they trust you
  76. Show up at the big events in their life
  77. Always keep your promises
  78. Meet their friends
  79. Make time to be with them
  80. Share common interests
  81. Be sensitive to their needs
  82. When you ask what are they thinking, listen to the reply
  83. Spend quiet time with each other
  84. Visit a favourite romantic place regularly
  85. Chose a romantic nickname for them
  86. Send flowers to express what you want to say for instance Gardenia means joy, Snowdrops signify hope, Bluebells represent constancy
  87. Say it with chocolates
  88. Name a Star as a Gift for them
  89. Take them to the beach and draw a heart in the sand

You could say to your lover:

  1. Each day is so much brighter and more cheerful because you are a part of it
  2. I will never feel lost or lonely with you around
  3. I’m sorry
  4. You’re the best thing that ever happened to me
  5. Without you my life would have no meaning
  6. You are a blessing in disguise
  7. You are the sunshine to light my rainy days
  8. You hold the key to my heart
  9. You are my inspiration
  10. You’re my lover but you’re also my best friend
  11. You are my life
  12. I will always be there for you

Once you start thinking about it, there are many ways to show someone they’re special and it brings you joy too, to share your love and your feelings.

Tags:101 Ways to Say I Love You - Some Great Tips to Help You Show How Much You Care

10/14/10 Daily Dose of Nonsense

Scope it, as in Horoscope: Do not plan something just to combat someone else’s point of view. You are already starting in last that way. Be proactive and not reactive.

Bonehead Tip of the Day: Insist you do not get jealous. That’s enough because we all do.

Trivia: To see if a female was a witch in the 16th and 17th century, they would tie her up and throw her into a river. If she sank she was not a witch. If she floated she WAS a witch. They killed her anyway, I figure. So, they both died? The other one drown, right? If that Tower in Pisa did not lean, would it be an attraction? A good mistake in the long run. Speaking of mistakes, cooking by microwave was discovered by mistake. When I cook it’s by mistake. The Grand Canyon really did not take a long time to name, I hope. “Man, now that’s a Grand Canyon, isn’t it? During a F5 tornado a car becomes a missile but a missile does not become a car. Huh? As far as I know coyotes do not eat roadrunners, which explains a great deal.

The List: Top shows on Broadcast TV:
1. “Dancing With the Stars” – 19.9 million viewers.
2. “NCIS” – 19.8 million.
2. “Sunday Night Football” – 16.8 million

Source: Nielson.

Closer: Without extremes, there would be no normal. A little weather jargon I heard the other day.

Tags:10/14/10 Daily Dose of Nonsense

101Malta and 101Dublin - a Far Cry from the Usual Online Travel Guides

Log on to any site that claims to be your perfect travel guide and what do you get – a multitude of travel deals. Wherever you click you are instantly overwhelmed with special offers: book this, buy that, fly with us, hop on this, reserve that!

Few are the travel websites which are honestly aimed at really informing travellers about the country or city they are visiting, the sites and attractions that make the country so popular with tourists, and the things one should or could do while visiting.

And this should come as no surprise to anybody who is in the industry. Advertising is what generates sales and keeps the websites going so where do you strike a balance? Where do you draw the line and give the prospective traveller a real taste of the country he is planning to visit whilst remaining truly honest?

On the other hand, why should the tourist be influenced as to where to go and what to do according to what the highest paying advertisers would like?

The travel guide websites 101malta and 101dublin are a far cry from the average sites which are primarily aimed at generating revenue without giving a candid picture of the location itself.

Each website has more than 100 pages spilt under four categories: things to do, things to try, things to see and things to eat. And here you are truly regaled by what the country really has to offer the potential tourist. Both 101websites have crawled, clicked and looked into every nook and cranny to bring you a straightforward, raw guide about the place.

For example, 101Malta invites travellers to delve into the mystery of the ancient civilizations that lived on this tiny Mediterranean Island by visiting the various Neolithic temples, which actually pre-date both the Pyramids of Egypt and Stonehenge.

Written with a flair that appeals to all and sundry, each page is dedicated to a particular site, attraction or events worth doing while on holiday on the island. 101Malta goes one step further than most other websites dishing out genuine, blunt, no-nonsense advice to travellers intending to visit the Maltese Islands.

Malta’s rich history is evident in every corner of each street, not only by the Neolithic treasures but also by the various influences left by its former conquerors, which included the Phoenicians, Romans, Arabs, Sicilians, the Knights of St John, the French, and last but not least, the British.

From the majestic St John’s Co-Cathedral to the Forts built by the British to repel attacks during World War II, 101Malta gives a direct view of these majestic buildings and why the Capital City Valletta was paid homage by being declared a World Heritage Site.

The Dublin Travel Guide – 101Dublin – gives the same honest view of where you should go and what you should do when on holiday in Dublin. Everyone’s got the same misconception about Dublin, that it’s all about the beer and many fail to make good use of their holiday.

If you are the type to enjoy history and culture, 101Dublin has a page dedicated to each location which it believes are definitely worth a visit – from St Patrick’s Cathedral to Dublin Writer’s Museum to a look around Trinity College.

Each page is neatly designed, with a brief yet concise explanation of the city’s major highlights, culinary delights as well as any traditions or customs to look out for, which, when thrown in all together is what makes travel such an eye-opening experience.

Travel is about embracing cultures and getting to know the nitty gritty of the place. Both 101travel guides embody this belief in an easy to use and light hearted manner making booking your trip that bit more exciting.

Tags:101Malta and 101Dublin - a Far Cry from the Usual Online Travel Guides

10-Mile Underwater Plume of Oil Off Louisiana from BP Oil Spill

Impact of Oil Spill Still Unknown

Scientists are not yet able to determine the long-term impact of the BP spill. Much of the oil lingers at great depths.

Tony Hayward, Chief Executive of British Petroleum (BP) continues to try to downplay the disaster of the oil spill. He told the Guardian that the spill is “relatively tiny, compared with the very big ocean.” He added “The Gulf of Mexico is a very big ocean. The amount of volume of oil and dispersant we are putting into it is tiny in relation to total water volume.”

Well that explanation would satisfy only a child of age 5 perhaps. Adults know better, and now scientists are releasing details as to the extent of this oil spill and environmental disaster.

Huge Underwater Plume of Oil

The New York Times reports that scientists have now identified a large underwater plume of oil in the depths of the Gulf of Mexico. One plume is described as “10 miles long, 3 miles wide, and 300 feet thick.”

The oil plumes are destroying oxygen levels in the water of the Gulf of Mexico. This causes the death of wildlife. To the birds and fish in the Gulf Coast this spill is not “tiny” as BP claims, it is life threatening.

Dr. Samantha Joye, of the University of Georgia, tells the NY Times that “oxygen has already dropped 30 % near some of the plumes in the month that the broken oil well had been flowing…This could draw the oxygen down to very low levels that are dangerous to animals in a couple of months.”

The flow of oil out of the BP rig is now estimated by scientists to be 25,000 to 80,000 barrels of oil daily. Scientists working on the boat “Pelican” have described these higher estimates of leaking oil. This mission is under the authorization of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The bulk of the oil released may be deep underwater due to the dispersants BP is using. It is not yet known why such large oil plumes are lingering at great depths in the Gulf of Mexico.

The long-term effects of this oil spill cannot yet be predicted. It is sure to have a devastating impact on the environment, wildlife, the fishing and shrimping industries and the tourism industry in the Gulf Coast.

Will the Oil Spill Impact Tourism?

The CS Monitor reports that the oil could travel anywhere from the “Mexican Coast to Palm Beach.” As the summer tourism season starts, hotel owners, fishing tour operators, and anyone else who works in the tourism industry must be having a lot of anxiety about how the oil spill will impact their revenue for this season and into the future.

Video of Oil Being Released

To see a video of the oil being released from the BP spill located 5,000 feet down in the Gulf of Mexico, click on the last resource below.


Tags:10-Mile Underwater Plume of Oil Off Louisiana from BP Oil Spill

10th Anniversary Celebration Ideas

So, you made it past the so called seven year itch and now you are looking forward to your ten year anniversary. This marks a great moment in the lives of you and your spouse. Taking a moment to reflect on all that you both have accomplished and now you are ready to celebrate the one decade mark.

The ten year anniversary is a great milestone and can be cherished by doing many things. I have put a list of wonderful ideas that you will find very interesting and will probably use some of them if not all of them to create a wonderful ten year anniversary.

If you have children, you should defiantly book a baby sitter well in advance for this special occasion so that you and your spouse will be able to spend a romantic evening together by yourself. If you feel guilty about leaving the kids, try to think of it as a small night vacation that you both deserve.

Early in the day you should both plan to have a professional portrait done of you wearing your wedding gear. If you no longer have your wedding dress or suit, don’t worry too much about it but try to get in to take a photo to capture your ten year anniversary. Most glamour shot places will offer a package that will customize to your ten year anniversary and may even offer certain discounts.

A ten year anniversary should not just be about the romance of it but also about the happiness that you have brought to your family. Here is an idea that I took from my mother in law when she celebrated her fiftieth wedding anniversary; a gathering of family and friends is always a nice way to show how much you two still cherish one another. There are special cakes and decorations that you can purchase for your ten year anniversary and this is a nice way to celebrate it with music and a speech.

Exchanging your wedding vows once again in front of everyone is also a nice way to celebrate your ten year anniversary. If you have children, you can include them in this ceremony and they will also cherish it for years after the anniversary.

After the celebration party or ceremony, you should plan to have a romantic dinner with one another. There are a ton of places that will help you plan this event and give you even more ideas on ways to make it more romantic. Take advantage of any deals and discounts that they may offer. A candle light dinner is a great way to be romantic while you cherish the moment.

If you never had a honeymoon or would like to take a vacation, your tenth anniversary is the perfect time to do this. A well deserved trip to the islands or to a resort is a great way to show the true meaning of love. If you are not able to take a vacation at this time, plan a romantic night out on a canoe by candle light or rent a hotel with a spa or Jacuzzi in it. This will allow you to still get away without ever really leaving the area.

There are a lot of ways to plan a tenth year anniversary and your imagination should run wild on this day. If you are celebrating your tenth anniversary, congratulations and before you know it, you will soon be celebrating the golden years with the love of your life.

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10th Wedding Anniversary Gift Ideas

A tenth wedding anniversary, and the gifts that are given to commemorate the anniversary, are very special and symbolic. Wedding anniversaries serve to celebrate the love a couple has for each other, and remind them of the reason they married.

Traditional and modern lists of material items have been introduced to help couples, families and friends, exchange or gift couples with useful items they may need. The traditional item associated with tenth wedding anniversaries is tin or aluminum, the modern gift list includes diamonds.

Here are 10th wedding anniversary gift ideas for family and friends to give to the couple, or for the couple to give to each other.

Aluminum bakeware or cookware
Aluminum bakeware is a great gift idea to give to a couple that enjoys baking at home or entertaining. Cookware is another option and is always something a growing family can use. For an entire set try Metro’s 7-pc. Cast Aluminum Cookware Set, in bright red it should be a hit. ($70,

Home décor
Home décor is a great idea for a couple because there are so many options open to you. Look for items with a metal appearance to follow the tradition of giving tin or aluminum. Small tokens, wall hangings, plaques, or table top items all make nice gifts. Novica has a very unique selection of wall hangings and mirrors that are hand-crafted by its artisans all over the world ($70-150,

Art/ Sculpture
Art or sculpture created from tin or aluminum materials can be given to both members of the couple to use in their home. This is an especially good idea for those couples that enjoy art or filling their home with art. Try Cast Aluminum Art or Hoselton Sculptures for ideas (,

Framed photos
A personal option for the couple, or to give to your partner, is framed photography of each other. Choose either a single photo or a series of photos taken throughout the marriage and frame them in a gallery frame like the brushed aluminum one available from Target. ($20 frame,

Aluminum watches
His and her watches are a nice tenth anniversary gift idea, and depending on the watches you choose you can make it a very expensive gift or a more average priced one. Depending on the giftee’s taste or hobbies you can look for a watch that is casual, dressy or used for sport activities. Casio and the Swiss Legend line have several aluminum options (

Cufflinks are a great option for those husbands celebrating their tenth anniversary, and you can go with the traditional aluminum theme or use the more traditional diamond option. I found the perfect pair of aluminum cufflinks, from Todd Chapman, that fit entirely into the silver and blue colors that are used for tenth wedding anniversaries. ($145,

Sapphire jewelry
Sapphire is the traditional gemstone listed in association with a tenth wedding anniversary. Again, a persons taste in jewelry is very personal, but appropriate choices would be a sapphire hugs and kisses tennis bracelet for her and a sapphire ring or cufflinks for him. Try biz rate for several options in every price range ( Diamond jewelry
If you choose to go the modern route, then diamonds are the item associated with tenth wedding anniversaries. Gift ideas for the couple can include updates to the wedding bands, earrings, cufflinks, and pendants. Try well known and trusted diamond dealers for any purchases that are this expensive (,

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11 Questions (and Answers) Regarding Guitar Instruction

1) “How much do I have to practice?”

Many are under the impression that hours upon hours per week are needed to get good at playing the guitar. Unless you are planning on being a guitar superstar in the first few weeks, this is simply not true. If you can find 20 minutes to an hour a day, four or five days out of the week, you will noticeably progress. Generally, students find the more they accomplish, the more they are encouraged to practice.

2) “What if I have no musical talent?”

Some worry about being “tone deaf” or that they have “no rhythm.” Something I truly believe is that everyone has some sort of innate musical talent. Initially, some may appear to have it more obviously than others, but there are many instances when a student who seemed to be not getting it at first became the one that surpassed the rest.

3) “What if I don’t have a guitar?”

Guitars can be purchased relatively inexpensively. For under $200 one can usually find a decent acoustic guitar, or an electric guitar and a small amplifier. Used instruments can even be less.

4) “What if I don’t know how to read music?”

It’s easy if you take baby steps, and a good instructor will make it an enjoyable learning process. However, since most of what guitar does in popular styles is rhythm accompaniment, beginning guitar is usually is taught through a variety of other methods that make more sense to that style. As a student progresses beyond the beginning stages they will find that reading music is useful for more advanced musical understanding. Students are encouraged to make reading a part of their learning experience.

5) “What if I’ve never played a musical instrument before?”

Learning a musical instrument does not require any background. Ultimately every musician has started from zero. All that is necessary is the desire, and a willingness to practice.

6) “What if my hands or fingers are too big or too small?”

It is extremely rare that this ever true. Once a student realizes what needs to be stretched and how to work on this then they find that it’s not as difficult as they imagined. Having a qualified instructor look at the individual is recommended.

7) “Why can’t I teach myself?”

I am of the opinion that instructional materials such as videos, DVDs, internet downloads, books and CDs, regardless of how good they are produced, are best studied with a competent teacher. It’s not the student’s fault! As good as these learning aids may be, the problem is, is that you can’t ask them questions. Since everyone learns differently, there may be an issue if the method utilized by the various instructional materials is not one that works for you. This is where the experienced private instructor who can customize their approach to the individual enters into the picture. Once the basics have been mastered, then the various instructional materials available are much easier to deal with.

8) “How long will I have to take lessons before I can play anything?”

Although this is a tricky question to answer because every student is different, the average is between two to eight weeks before a student can start playing some simpler songs in an accompaniment style.

9) “How long to I have to keep taking lessons?”

Guitar is relatively easy for the student to become self-sufficient on so that after they learn the basics they can teach themselves. This could happen after just a few lessons. One doesn’t necessarily need to keep taking lessons to learn enough to become a competent player. However, once a student gets involved in the guitar they often find that they enjoy the learning process so much that they want to keep it up and study techniques beyond the basic chordal accompaniment styles.

10) “Can you learn anything in a group class?”

Yes, group classes can be useful as an introduction to playing an instrument. The problem is that everyone learns differently. This makes it difficult for an instructor to address each student’s individual concerns as most group classes tend to be short and have a large number of students.

11) “Is it better to start on an acoustic or an electric guitar?”

They are both good. It depends on the quality. Often we recommend an electric to the younger children because of the ease of playing an electric.

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10th Year Anniversary Vacation Package

I sent my sister and her husband to Willow Valley Resort and Conference Center for their 10-year anniversary. This is a beautiful place located in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. It is a perfect place for a 10th year anniversary vacation. There is so much to do right on the grounds and plenty of places to see in the nearby area. Willow Valley is just a little over an hour from Philadelphia and about three and a half hours from New York City.

One of the best parts about this place is the food. They serve smorgasbords at every meal. These are all you can eat buffet style meals. They have a variety of stations at each meal from meats, pastas, seafood and fish and so much more. Breakfast smorgasbords contain any breakfast food that you can name from pancakes, eggs and bacon, sausage, potatoes and more. WillowValley also has a Terrace and Family Restaurant. They also have Sunday brunches at the Palm Court. They have a bakery right on the grounds.

There are about 342 guest rooms and suites. There are about five different rooms to choose from. Prices range anywhere from $200 a night and up. A fall special is coming up where if you stay one night, you get another night free. This offer is only good from October 12th through November 19th, 2009. (Sunday through Thursday only) If you want to take the entire family with you, kids can eat free from September 7th through November 24th, 2009. On December 4th & 5th of 2009, Thomas the Tank Engine will be in the area to see.

Pets are also allowed in certain rooms for your convenience. Willow Valley has three swimming pools, an indoor water playground, a nine hole golf course, tennis and basketball courts, and a spa. They also have crafts, bingo and scavenger hunts.

There is plenty to see and places to eat in the area of Lancaster also. Hershey Park and Dutch Wonderland are nearby. You can also go to Gettysburg National Park and Strasburg Railroad. The American Music Theatre is another nice place to visit. The Amish are also in the area and there are places where you can go to see them.

If you are looking for a place to go for your 10th year anniversary, I would highly recommend Willow Valley Resort and Conference Center. I can assure you that you will have a wonderful time and will want to go back again. For more information, please visit www.

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11 Rules for Graduating Students Coming into the Real World

Right out of high school we all think the world is easy, and that we are all going to be millionaires with big houses and great cars. Well the truth hurts my friends, and this list of rules should be read by every 12th grader in America because it is so true. These eleven rules should be carefully considered and contemplated deeply for all those who are graduating this coming year.

Rule 1: Surprise! Life is not fair – get used to it! Nothing in this world seems or is remotely fair, and that’s just the way things are

Rule 2: The world won’t care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself. That’s just the way it goes, to feel good about one’s self you need to make some sort of accomplishment.

Rule 3: You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won’t be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both. You have to start small and work your way up, that’s what college is for.

Rule 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss. The difference is, a teacher can only punish you so much, a boss supplies your means of living, and can take it away for disrespect. Superiors have a whole new meaning in the real world

Rule 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your Grandparents had a different word for burger flipping: they called it opportunity. You have to take what you can to make it in life. If that means flipping burgers or walking dogs, so be it.

Rule 6: If you mess up, it’s not your parents’ fault, so don’t whine about your mistakes, learn from them. This is the only way you will ever grow as a human being. Stop blaming your parents, it’s not always you mothers fault! And trust me, you don’t have the time or the money to spend on or in therapy.

Rule 7: Before you were born, your parents weren’t as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent’s generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

Rule 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life HAS NOT. In some schools, they have abolished failing grades and they’ll give you as MANY TIMES as you want to get the right answer. This doesn’t bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life. If you fail in school you get a hug and told “Try again” you fail in life, you starve, harsh huh?

Rule 9: Life is not divided into semesters. You don’t get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF. Do that on your own time, because nobody wants to hear you grip and complain, so suck it up.

Rule 10: Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs. Unless you happen to work at said coffee shop, but you get the idea

Rule 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one. You know who Bill Gates is right? All his high school bullies now bring him doughnuts and coffee. They also shine his shoes, drive him to work, clean his office, and pay him to use his product. Nerds are cool, so be nice to them.

So there you have it, a high school students guide lines and rules for coming into the real world. Remember them well, and consider thanking your parents for getting you this far. Chances are you’ll be relying on them for the first few years of your “adult life” so you may do well to appreciate them more often then you do now.

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11 Swivel, Sway, and Sing from the Soul for Motown Night on "American Idol" Season 10

Even Jennifer Lopez summoned memories of Motown in her pale pink Diana Ross-Supreme-esque sparkling gown Wednesday on “American Idol”, and Ryan Seacrest may have flubbed up in commenting that Hitsville USA was in the “burbs” of Detroit, but for a couple of hours, it seemed like it made a temporary move to the Idol stage for the 11 remaining talents doing everything from Lionel Richie to Martha Reeves, with Motown originals and Steven Tyler’s daughter, Liv and bandmates among the audience for the special night, complete with a taste of homemade Italian cooking. I guess Italians have plenty of soul, too!

Casey Abrams came out in slicked back hair and black suit for an amazing turn with “Heard It Through the Grapevine”, complete with a couple of spins thrown in! He had the crowd in the palm of his hand in a Detroit minute, and he knows how to work it as well as he knows how to sing! Steven Tyler told him that being great meant “crazy-ass out of control ego” and that he had it. Randy Jackson just reminded him that his talent comes from knowing who he is. He’s probably the best all-out entertainer of the bunch. Can you believe going from Nirvana to the Temptations without skipping a beat? Thia Megia was determined to take the judges’ guidance to heart, and be ballad-free, and she did “bring it up a notch” with Martha and the Vandellas’ “Heat Wave”, in her pink flounced skirt, but she hardly moved from an invisible circle center stage, and the performance was still low on energy. Hopefully she can find some performance mojo to go with her voice in the warp-speed maturity that the process is forcing on the youngest performer. Jacob Lusk gave the night’s best performance for my money, and all three judges agreed. Randy Jackson declared his “You’re All I Need to Get By” was his best, and perhaps the show’s best performance ever, and Steven Tyler was moved to jump onstage for a closing embrace, which led to one from Jacob’s grandma and then the entire front row, per Ryan Seacrest’s invitation! Lusk has brought the soul singer back to music at last. Lauren Alaina looked and sounded better than ever with the Supremes hit, “You Keep Me Hangin’ On”, keeping just the right taste of tell-off in her voice to match the attitude! Steven Tyler said she “ripped a new beauty mark” in the song, and Ryan Seacrest dubbed her “The Swaggeress” after Randy Jackson’s praise. Stefano Langone’s mom treated her son’s new family to homemade cooking, and I’m sure that was prepared with love, but Stefano couldn’t feel the love in his performance of “Hello”, the 1984 Lionel Richie tune that someone like Simon Cowell might hate, but can get an audience right in their tear ducts with the right contact! Try as he did, Stefano never managed direct eye contact until the last line, and put one too many runs and skipped a needed dash of heartbreak! He deserves to be onstage, but he’s definitely on the bubble this week!

Haley Reinhart reclaimed her ground as premiere soul singer among the girls, coming out all prim and proper at first with “You Really Got a Hold on Me”, but showing there was that old familiar growl behind her suit! Jennifer Lopez reminded her “You can do anything with that voice!” and she may have done enough to stay safe this week! Scott McCreery was content to keep his country tones and be the man in black while he sang “For Once in My Life”, keeping his twang and his deep closing tone, and still connecting like crazy with his audience! Motown may not be his strong suit, but unlike Stefano, he felt every word of the harmonica-flavored hit, and close with what Randy Jackson called his “Lady killer”! Pia Toscano definitely felt the music this week, too, choosing “All in Love is Fair” as her selection. It was a great night for Stevie Wonder! Her range and note-striking are flawless, as is her star quality, but Randy Jackson was bored again, saying, “You can’t live on ballads” and Jennifer Lopez wants her to take the stage more fully as a performer. Steven Tyler remains convinced, though, that she is “the closest star” on the Idol stage. She’s likely safe again. Paul McDonald surprised everyone by skipping his dance moves and strapping on his acoustic guitar for “The Tracks of My Tears”, infusing a folk-like feel into the song, and performing with the most emotion he has shown all season. Jennifer Lopez said all he needed was “a good producer” to already be on his way! He has a sound and a voice all his own. Naima Adedapo left her usual bright colors behind for her wardrobe, dressing this time in subdued gray tones, and letting her singing and her spirit stand out on “Dancing in the Streets”. It was her best effort this season, even showcasing some dance with African drums. Randy Jackson called it “very smart” and Jennifer Lopez gave her the goose bump award for the night! “Living for the City” was a perfect song for James Durbin, and his performance combined control with a dose of hopeful energy. Accompanied by Motown bassist Bob Babbitt, Durbin delivered again, nailing the song once he found his “pocket” proclaimed the panel!

Votes will be in tomorrow for the Top 10 of Season 10 at 8 PM ET on FOX.


“American Idol” telecast, March 23, 2011 FOX TV.

Tags:11 Swivel, Sway, and Sing from the Soul for Motown Night on “American Idol” Season 10

11 Great Pancake Mix-ins

Pancakes are great. Breakfast or dinner, it doesn’t matter. If your pancakes need an update, try these additions. Any basic pancake batter will work. Just stir in the additions or sprinkle them on as they cook for custom made pancakes. Warning: experimenting with pancakes is addictive and fun. Be careful when adding liquids. Too much liquid will give you runny pancakes. Drain all fruits well.


Mix in mini-chocolate chips. These are great for dessert. Instead of syrup, add hot fudge or whipped cream for a truly decadent treat.

Butter Pecan

Melt 2 tbs. of butter in a small skillet. Add about ½ c. chopped pecans. Sauté for 3-5 minutes. Add a splash of vanilla. Give a stir. Add to the pancake batter. Serve with real maple syrup.

Very Berry

Any berry will work. Taste them first to see how sweet they are. You may need to add a sprinkle of extra sugar. Sprinkle them on the pancakes as they are cooking. You can also add them to the batter, about ½ – 1 cup of berries to a recipe of pancake batter. If you like add 1 tsp. of lemon peel. Berries and lemon are a great combination.


I love anything with cranberries. These need to be chopped before using. Extra sugar also has to be added. Add about 1/8 – ¼ c of extra sugar. Serve with a smear of orange marmalade.

Apple Spice

Chop and apple into small pieces. Heat a small skillet with butter ( 2 tbs.). Sauté apples and vanilla for 3 -5 minutes. Just long enough for the apples to soften. Sprinkle with apple pie spice and add to the pancake batter.

Carrot cake

To the basic pancake mix add 1 shredded carrot, a handful of raisins, and a sprinkle of apple pie spice. Stir well. Cook like regular pancakes. Serve with a smear of cream cheese.


Toast ¼ c. oatmeal in a very hot pan. It takes 5 -7 mins. Be careful to stir and not to burn the oatmeal. When adding sugar for the pancake batter, substitute half of the sugar for dark brown sugar. Serve with honey.

Elvis Special

Melt ¼ c. of peanut butter and mix into the pancake batter. After you pour the pancakes onto the griddle, add sliced bananas. Serve with syrup.

Not all pancakes are sweet. Here are a few mix-ins that turn pancakes into a night time meal. For most pancake recipes, you can just eliminate the sugar all together.


To the pancake mix, minus the sugar, add ¼ c. of chopped green onions, ½ c. drained corn kernels, a handful of drained black beans, and 1 Tbs. Of chili powder. Cook a little longer. These are denser due to all the goodies. You can substitute part of the flour for cornmeal. Serve with sour cream and salsa.

Chicken Delight

These are great on a night you don’t want to cook. Again leave out the sugar. Part of the flour can be substituted for cornmeal. Add ½ cup of cooked, chopped chicken, and chopped green onions to the mix. Sprinkle in a dash of salt and pepper. A dash of nutmeg is also good. Again these take a little longer to cook, but they are so good. Serve plain or with a little butter.


Everyone loves bacon. Cook 3- 4 strips of bacon. Add ½ of a small, chopped onion and sauté with the bacon. Drain well. Chop bacon into smaller pieces. Add to the pancake batter, without the sugar. Add a handful of shredded cheese. Serve plain.

Pancakes are basically sweet, flat bread. You are only limited by your imagination and the contents of your refrigerator. These are perfect for evenings when you are tired and don’t want to cook a large meal. Give it a try.

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