Change is in the Wind

By C.L. Beck

Twenty years ago, I wasn't gray. And I weighed a lot less. Didn't have wrinkles, either.

Philosophers say the only constant in life is change. I say the guys who said that should try living with non-existent hormones for a while and see what they think of that!

Oh, okay, so non-existent hormones have nothing to do with philosophers, but it does have something to do with change, right? (All you ladies out there who are low on estrogen and have a gun, nod your head and say, "Yes!")

In case you haven't noticed, my blog hasn't had much new on it lately. I keep wanting to change that issue, but apparently wishing that posts would appear magically on their own is not making it happen.

I don't know why not.

At any rate, I've decided not to restrict my blog to just humor anymore, in hopes of opening it up a little. Instead, I'll be writing about whatever catches my fancy. Which doesn't exactly make it a niche that will bring in money.

But, hey, maybe a long lost relative will leave me millions in his/her will. You just never know what's going to happen when change is in the wind.

(What about you? Have you made any big changes lately?)

Author's note: If you enjoyed these mostly true thoughts -- with a little bit of lying exaggeration thrown in, then sign up for my newsletter in the sidebar on the right. That way you won't miss out on the fun.

"Change is in the Wind" © C.L. Beck. 
Image is the property of C.L. Beck, and may be found on other articles under her pen names. Please do not violate copyright -- obtain permission before using image or text.
Tags:change, wind, change is in the wind, hormones, estrogen 

Today is Blame Someone Else Day

By C.L. Beck

Yahoo, and yippee! It's "Blame Someone Else Day!"

Well ... maybe ... sorta ... kinda. Apparently, the official calendar dudes and dude-ettes of the world haven't quite agreed on it. Some think it happens on the first Friday-the-13th of the year. Others vote for April, or September.

What the heck! I say let's have it on all those days. You can never blame someone else too many times.

And anyway, radio announcers were discussing it today on the radio, so today is a good enough start for me.

Oh, joy! Just think of it. You can blame all your misdeeds, mistakes, and problems on someone else.

Is your weight a little more than you'd like? Blame it on the Krispy Kreme donut shop.

Not as rich as you'd like to be? Blame it on your accountant.

The supper you cooked didn't turn out quite so tasty? Blame it on Ms. Betty Crocker!

As for me, I haven't done as much writing lately as I'd like. Should I blame it on the computer? Hmmm. Or maybe on Russ? He's always good for a blame or two.

No, I think today I'll blame it on the dog. It's Corky Porky Pie's fault. 

Yup. Who better to blame when your life is going to the dogs?

(What about you? Are you taking advantage of Blame Someone Else Day?)

Author's note: If you enjoyed these mostly true thoughts -- with a little bit of lying exaggeration thrown in, then sign up for my newsletter in the sidebar on the right. That way you won't miss out on the fun.

"Today is Blame Someone Else Day" © C.L. Beck. 
Image is the property of C.L. Beck, and may be found on other articles under her pen names. Please do not violate copyright -- obtain permission before using image or text.
Tags: Blame Someone Else Day, Krispy Kreme, Betty Crocker,

Boots, Glorious Boots

By C.L. Beck

It's that time of year again! As the song says --

Wait! Just so you'll know. On the advice of my attorney, and for strict legal reasons that involve something or other, I'll be paraphrasing the song.

Oh all right. I don't really have an attorney. And I paraphrase because I can't remember the words.

Anyway, as the song from that movie about orphaned kids in London says, "Boots, glorious boots; hot leather and faux fur!While we're in the mood, snake belly and gopher!"

Now that I've regaled you with a song -- one that none of you recognize because I made it up -- let's get back to it being that time of year. Yes, it's time to buy boots, glorious boots.

I was out at schulershoes.com this morning, looking over their boots and shoes. They were really cute, and reminded me of something that happened recently.

Russ and I were in a shoe store, looking at winter boots, when I spotted this nice pair of black suede ones. With big, white snowflakes embroidered on them. And a stacked heel. They just looked so fun, hip, and cool.

I pointed them out to him, "Look, aren't these cute? I could use a pair for church."

Russ eyed them critically. "Would they fit? You know you have big calves, and it's hard to get boots up over them."

I sent a stare his way that would make a snowman shiver. "Not big calves. Well-formed, muscular -- but lovely -- calves. From all the exercising, I do."

He shrugged his shoulders. "Okay, so big, muscular calves."

Ignoring him, I took the beautiful boots off the rack. I slipped them on and pulled the legs of my jeans up to my knees so I could get the full effect of the boots on my feet. "What do you think?" I asked Russ.

He hesitated. "Well, they're nice-looking, but you remind me of someone." He paused and then said innocently, "Oh, I know. You remind me of the ladies in the city who stand on the street corners at night, looking for ... um, you know ... friends."

And now you can guess why I was online this morning, looking at boots and shoes. It's a whole lot easier when Russ isn't around to offer his opinion.

At this point, who knows when ... or if ... I'll find some that'll fit over my well-formed, muscular, lovely calves. But, it's bound to happen sometime soon. Right?

In the meantime, though, have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day. Enjoy the feast. And don't forget what it says in that Christmas song, ""Ever body knows a missile and some turkey toes, help to make the seasonings right." 


(Disclosure: This article is sponsored by your friends at schulershoes.com. For more disclosure information on sponsored articles, please read the disclosure page.)

Author's note: If you enjoyed this mostly true story -- with a little bit of lying exaggeration thrown in, then sign up for my newsletter in the sidebar on the right. That way you won't miss out on the fun.

"Boots, Glorious Boots" © C.L. Beck. 
Image is the property of C.L. Beck, and may be found on other articles under her pen names. Please do not violate copyright -- obtain permission before using image.
Tags: boots, shoes, schulershoes

A Funny Poem about Being Busy ... by C.L. Beck

It's Been a Month Since I Have Writ

I'm sittin' here and feelin' sad,
Just knowin' I am so, so bad!

It's been a month since I have writ.
My brain says I am a nit wit.

My friends think I done flew the coop.
But ... I've been busy makin' soup,

And feedin' hawgs, and training dawgs,
And just for fun, been felling logs.

I scraped my knee, what really hurt.
Fell on my face, down in the dirt,

And writ this poem, as I lay there,
While little ants climbed in my hair.

And even though, I must admit,
I've made this up -- yup, every bit --

I'm hoping it will make you smile,
Forgive me for a little while.

And you'll still visit me right here,
Despite the fact there's no free beer.

Won't worry 'bout my missing face --
That hasn't been here, in this place.

Yes, life can surely be such fun.
So much to do, been on the run.

But, I'll be back again someday --
And then I'll have a lot to say!


Author's note: If you enjoyed this sorta true poem -- with a lot of exaggeration thrown in -- then sign up for my newsletter in the sidebar on the right. That way you won't miss out on the fun.

Article: "A Funny Poem about Being Busy" © C.L. Beck
Poem: "It's Been a Month Since I Have Writ" © C.L. Beck
Tags: free poems, funny poem, feeling sad, no free beer, funny poem about being busy, 

Get Me a Good Translation Service

By C.L. Beck 

Image © RosettaTranslation.com

Recently, I ran across a website for a translation service in London. I was delighted, thinking there was help in sight for Russ and me, since we sometimes have an inability to communicate.

Let me rephrase that. One of the biggest issues between Russ and me is his inability to communicate. Like almost all women of the world, I am well-versed at saying what I mean without actually coming out and expressing it, because men are supposed to get what we mean and not what we say, anyway.

Not that Russ would agree, but hey, what does he know?

I used to think it was because he's deaf in one ear and can't hear out the other that our verbal exchanges became confusing. Now I find that his texts are just as bad.

Not long ago, in response to a text I sent telling him what I was fixing for supper, I got the following reply: "You R sopping good."

I glared at my cell. What kind of answer was that? And why insult me when all I'd said was that I was fixing his favorite meal? My fingers fairly flew over the keyboard with my stinging reply.

Oh, all right, I'll tell the truth. It took me five minutes to type it, 'cause I suck ... er, I mean stink ... at texting. My reply said, "Sopping good!!??"

A few seconds later, I heard my cell ding -- as opposed to what phones used to do, which was ring -- and I checked the message.

He'd texted, "R U calling me sopping for some reason? What did I do now?"

Naturally, anyone can see that this error in communication did not come from my sharp mind but from Russ's cluttered brain.

That night, we talked and cleared it up. It turned out he'd typed, "You R sooooo good" and the auto text feature on his Android had substituted the word "sopping" for "sooooo."

Still, I think that being in the mental health/counseling field, Russ must accept Sigmund Freud's postulate that nothing happens by accident. Subconsciously, his brain went with sopping for a reason.

I must admit that a short time later, the tables were turned. I'd planned to meet friends for lunch, where we could converse, discuss, talk, gab, and parley to our hearts' content. Yup, obviously a group of all women!

But before I go any farther, let me say this about that. It's my considered opinion that many men don't have good communication skills. (Of course, this does not include faithful male readers at this blog!) However, men may know how to parley. My highly educated appraisal on that issue is based on the movie, Pirates of the Caribbean.

Hmmm, Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean. Talk about needing a translation service! That man talked like he had cotton in his mouth through the whole movie ... and in all 325 sequels!

Oh, I'm sorry. I digress.

So, according to Johnny Depp -- and this is assuming I understood him correctly through his slurring and mumbling -- pirates know how to parley.  And since most pirates are men, that means parleying is the only form of conversation they employ ... while sitting around a table, with swords in their teeth and rum on their breath.

Sooooo, (please note that my computer has more sense than any cell and did not substitute "sopping" for "sooooo,") back to the story about meeting friends. I texted them and said I could come on the specified day, "If we can meet in Nephi for lunch."

Which my cell changed to -- while I wasn't looking, mind you -- "If we can meet in Nephritis for lunch."

Just great. My friends thought I wanted to meet in kidney disease for lunch.

Well, all I can say is that cell phones obviously need a good translation service to get it right. Either that or they need to be created by women, who know from the day they're born how to converse, discuss, talk, gab, and parley -- even without swords in their teeth and rum on their breath.


(Disclosure: This article is sponsored by your friends at RosettaTranslation.com. For more disclosure information, please read the disclosure page.)

Author's note: If you enjoyed this mostly true story -- with a little bit of lying exaggeration thrown in, then sign up for my newsletter in the sidebar on the right. That way you won't miss out on the fun.

"Get Me a Good Translation Service" © C.L. Beck;  image © RosettaTranslation.com
Tags: translation service, Android

Mind's Eye View of Utah Lake ... by C.L. Beck

No article ... just a photo!

Mind's Eye View of Utah Lake © C.L. Beck


Author's note: If you enjoyed "Mind's Eye View of Utah Lake," then sign up for my newsletter in the sidebar on the right. That way you won't miss out on future fotos and fun.

"Mind's Eye View of Utah Lake" © C.L. Beck; image © C.L. Beck
Tags: Utah Lake 

Mother's Day Video

(So Touching)
Posted by C.L. Beck

Dedicated to all mothers, and to those friends and sisters who are like mothers to us. Where would we be without them?
Happy Mother's Day!


Author's note: If you enjoyed this post, but can only take so much tenderness before your eyes are swollen and you run out of tissues, stay tuned for humor comin' down the road. Sign up for my newsletter in the sidebar on the right -- that way you won't miss out on the fun to come.

Tags: Mother's Day, eternal families

How to Get Rid of a Cold

Or ... Only the Nose Knows
By C.L. Beck

image © Sarej

How to Get Rid of a Cold

Those little germs are everywhere,
Inside your mouth and in your hair,
Up your nose—to make you sneeze,
In your lungs—to make you wheeze.

Those little germs are such a pain—
It seems like they've attacked your brain!
They’ve given you a nasty cold,
Which makes you feel so doggone old.

Whatever can you do instead
Of wheezing, coughing, in your bed?
Perhaps it’s time to let them go
To steal somebody else’s show!

Okay, so how to get rid of a cold for real? No miracle solutions, but here are a few tricks that might help the poor suffering sickee (that's you) feel a little better:
  • Use a saline solution for congestion. Either buy it as a spray in the store, or make your own saline solution at home. If homemade, be sure to boil the solution so that those nasty-wasty brain-eating buggers don't hitch a ride in it. For real.
  • For a sore throat, gargle with 1 tbsp cider vinegar mixed with about 3-6 ounces warm water. Very soothing!
  • Use cough drops or throat lozenges to keep your throat moist.
  • When blowing your nose, use tissues that contain lanolin or other skin softeners so your nose doesn't get irritated.
  • Wear soft, fuzzy clothes. Naw, they don't do anything for the germs, but the warm fuzzies are the next best thing to that wonderful blankie you loved as a toddler.

Author's note: If you enjoyed this mostly humorous, absolutely true poem, then sign up for my newsletter in the sidebar on the right. That way you won't miss out on the fun.

"How to Get Rid of a Cold" © C.L. Beck; image © Sarej
Tags: cold, germs, how to get rid of a cold

Sticky Notes

They're Not All that They're Sticky-ed Up to Be
By C.L. Beck

 The other night I had the strangest dream....

In it, I hunted all over for a pad of sticky notes, and every one that I pulled off my cluttered desk had lots and lots of writing on it. On every single page. Some written in bold, black marker.

The Hubster smiled and gave his mental health shrinky-therapist opinion. "That shows your desire to buy me a new car. Writing in blue signifies a Camaro ... red means you're getting me a Mustang."

What? I think not, Buster!

If the notes contained wisdom and knowledge, it would have been all right. Or if they even gave instructions on how to make my fortune, it would have been fine. But, they didn't.

And now -- for some strange reason -- I have a weird, nagging desire to drive to the office supply store and buy all their sticky notes.

Quick! Somebody hide my car keys.

Author's note: If you enjoyed this mostly humorous, almost true story, then sign up for my newsletter in the sidebar on the right. That way you won't miss out on the laughter.

"Sticky Notes" © C.L. Beck; image © QualityC
Tags: sticky notes, Camaro, dreams

"Descendant," by Nichole Giles: Coming May 1, 2013

A Sneak Peek at the Cover
By C.L. Beck

It's been forever since I've been part of a blog tour. Mostly because I don't get moola for it I don't have time. But, today my friend and co-author, Nichole Giles, is having a blog tour for the cover of her new book, Descendant. (Release date for Descendant: May 1, 2013.)

And what kind of friend would I be if I didn't help with that? Please feel free to leave answers to that question in the comments below ... and keep them nice, or my blogger goblin will eat them for breakfast.

Blogger goblin. No, that would not be the hubster, Russ. It would be the dogster, Corky Porky Pie.

Aside from her prime virtues of being my friend and co-author -- and the fact that she's the talented individual who wrote, The Sharp Edge of a Knife -- Nichole has some other great qualities:

Nichole Giles had early career plans of becoming an actress or a rock star, but she decided instead to have a family and then become a writer. Writing is her passion, but she also loves to spend time with her husband and children, travel to tropical and exotic destinations, drive in the rain with the convertible top down, and play music at full volume so she can sing along.

Now that you know all that, take a peek at Nichole's new book cover for Descendant:

You're probably wondering if I've read a draft copy of the book. The answer to that is YES!

Oh, sorry. Didn't mean to yell with excitement, but it's a really good book. Nichole is an excellent writer, and if you enjoy YA-paranormal....

No, we're not talking abnormal. Although, I do know a few abnormal, young adults.

We're talking paranormal. Which is just a fancy term for events that happen without scientific explanation. You know, like Russ's hair falling out. Or the money in my pocket disappearing without my prior consent.

But in this case, it's neither of those happenings:

Seventeen-year-old Abigail Johnson is Gifted.

Blessed—or cursed—with Sight and Healing, Abby lives an unsettled life, moving from place to place and staying one step ahead of the darkness that hunts her. When she arrives in Jackson, Wyoming, she is desperate to maintain the illusion of normalcy, but she is plagued with visions of past lives mixed with frightening glimpses of her future. Then she meets Kye, a mysterious boy who seems so achingly familiar that Abby is drawn to him like he’s a missing piece of her own soul.

Before Abby can discover the reason for her feelings toward Kye, the darkness catches up to her and she is forced to flee again. But this time she’s not just running. She is fighting back with Kye at her side, and it’s not just Abby’s life at stake.

So there you have it. And in light of the fact that it's hard for me to find time to blog, that should tell you that the book is good enough -- waaaaay good enough -- for me to take  the time and trouble to write about it. Even if I didn't get any moolah for it.

(Disclosure: I received no compensation for this article ... unless you count the undying loyalty of my friend, Nichole Giles. For more disclosure information, please read the disclosure page.)

(Author's note: If you enjoyed the articles here then sign up for my newsletter in the sidebar on the right. That way you won't miss out on future  fun.)

"'Descendant, by Nichole Giles: Coming May 1, 2013" © C.L. Beck
Tags: Descendant, Nichole Giles

Funny Puns (Cats)

They're the Cat's Meow
By C.L. Beck


The other day when my brain had nothing else to do, it came up with a few funny puns about cats.

Well, okay, it really did have other things to do, but my brain doesn't follow directions well. It also runs with scissors, but that's another story....

Funny Puns (Cats)

What do kittens drink? Meow-lk.

What virtue do cats strive for the most? Purr-fection.

What kind of baseball pitch does a cat deliver? A hairball.

What's a cat's favorite cliche? You can catch more flies with honey. (And they crunch nicely, too.)

What do you call it when Fluffy gets a cut on her paw? A me-owie.

What’s a cat’s favorite infield position in baseball? Catcher.

If 20 felines were organized into a choir, what song would they sing? The Howllelujah Chorus.

What type music do cats prefer to hear? Catchy tunes.

What’s a kittens favorite snack? Meow-ouse.

What do cats do with their 401K funds when they retire? Purr-chase land in Boca.

What do you get if you cross a cat with a hippopotamus? A catastrophe.

Author's note: If you enjoyed this list of funny cat punnys, then sign up for my newsletter in the sidebar on the right. That way you won't miss out on future fun.

"Funny Puns (Cats) © C.L. Beck; image © C.L. Beck
Tags: funny puns, cats


Office of the Good, the Bad, and the Out to Get You
By C.L. Beck

Alas, it's that time of year when most of us start worrying about the IRS and tax returns. However, I'm Cindy, the fearless ... the brave ... the invincible. I scoff at the thought of Form 1040!

Furthermore, I never dream about tax agents, tax audits, or spending my life in jail for incorrect addition. No indeedy, the Internal Revenue does not haunt my dreams.

It haunts my every waking moment!

Truth be told, I'm scared spitless of the IRS. (And being without spit is not funny.)  

We were driving in the car and I said to Russ, "I'm so worried that someday I'll get audited by the IRS. I'm a very honest person, but that doesn't make any difference. If the IRS wants you, you're a dead chicken."

Russ crinkled his forehead and looked at me. "A dead chicken? I think you mean dead meat."

"Yeah, well, you pick your meat and I'll pick mine. I'm chicken of the IRS." I shivered, envisioning IRS agents behind every tree as we zipped down the highway.

Russ patted my shoulder. I'm sure it was to give me comfort and not to brush dandruff off my jacket. "What does our accountant say about it?"

"He says we're small fish and Internal Revenue would probably never even pull our returns." I sighed. "If only there were some way to insure they wouldn't even think about me."

Russ grinned. "I can help you there. Being a Jedi knight of the highest order, I have that power."

I cocked my head, and snorted. "Oh yeah? You don't even own a light saber. Let's see your great power. "

Russ cleared his throat, waved his hand slowly and mysteriously in the direction of the Ogden IRS center, then in his best Obi-Wan imitation intoned, "These aren't the tax returns you're looking for."

I'm sure hoping the Force was with him.

Author's note: If you enjoyed this mostly true story -- with a little bit of lying exaggeration thrown in, then sign up for my newsletter in the sidebar on the right. That way you won't miss out on the fun.

"The IRS" © C.L. Beck;  image © YM
Tags: IRS, Internal Revenue, Obi-Wan, Jedi knight

How to Compliment Women?

You Don't Look Fat ... but Maybe a Little Hippy
By C.L. Beck

Men. They give the most "interesting" compliments. Things like, "Gee, it's great that you don't have nose hair."

Or, let's say you ask, "Does this dress make me look fat?"

Mr. Tactful will say, "No it doesn't make you look fat. Maybe just a little hippy. And the color is weird (even though he's colorblind), but you look as beautiful as the minute I first laid eyes on you."

Just so there's no misunderstanding, let me give another example. On Christmas Day, Russ and I were going to a friend's house for dinner. Our contribution to the meal was stuffing (no, not the kind that goes into pillows ... the kind made with bread cubes) and I'd struggled to get it ready on time.

At my house, we normally do stuffing for three ... which is really stuffing for two people and a fat dog. Hence, the dilemma in figuring out how to cook stuffing for twenty.

But, I managed it. We were only five minutes late as we drove down the road, the dish warming my lap, steam rising from it, and a homey fragrance wafting around me.

Russ gave me a look of adoration and said, "This is just like when we were dating."

I pondered that. Did he mean the joy of being together for the holidays? The glint of happiness that made my eyes sparkle? The way my hair had worked into soft waves?

It's impossible to read men's minds. Well, at least Russ's. I gave up guessing and said, "How is it just like when we were dating?"

"You smell really good and we're fogging up the windows." He wriggled his eyebrows and laughed.

I categorically deny fogging any car windows in my youth. And I couldn't decide what to think about him saying I smelled really good -- as I sat with a dish of stuffing in my lap.

But, I wished he'd made the comparison forty years earlier.

Because if I had known it was that easy to get compliments, I would have foregone the $50 bottle of Shalimar perfume back then, and worn 50¢ poultry seasoning behind my ears instead.
(Author's note: If you enjoyed this mostly true story -- with a little bit of exaggeration thrown in -- then sign up for my newsletter in the sidebar on the right. That way you won't miss out on the fun.

"How to Compliment Women?" © C.L. Beck
Hippo image © Clipart from Clipartheaven.com.  
Tags: compliment women, stuffing, Shalimar, perfume, poultry seasoning

Merry Christmas to All

By C.L. Beck

Wishing all of you a wonderful Christmas and a 2013 that exceeds your expectations! May those who've suffered a loss at this time of year feel comfort and know that so many of us care.

I recently saw the video below about the song, "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" and loved it. Hope you enjoy the video's message as much as I did.

Merry Christmas, my friends.

Tags: Longfellow, Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Christmas

Do Medigap Plans Cover Hearing Loss?

By C.L. Beck

"How long until you retire?" I asked my hubby, Russ, the other morning.

"What? The car needs new tires?" He scratched his head. It's an easy feat since there's nothing on top and not much on the sides. I often wonder how much we're saving in shampoo in Russ's current, aging state.

Face it, the man is not only bald but needed to turn up his earring aid. And as soon as I can convince him to wear one, I'm turning it up for him.

"No, Russ. The car doesn't need new tires. I said, 'How long until you retire?'"

A small look of panic crossed Russ's face. "The toast is on fire?"

He rushed to the toaster and tried to pop it up. "I don't see any fire and the toast must be stuck!" He banged the side of it, dislodging crumbs all over the floor, which Corky Porky Pie promptly licked up.

I sighed and mumbled, "The man is deaf in one ear and can't hear out of the other. I wonder -- do medigap plans cover hearing loss?"

"What's that you say? You really need to speak up -- no one can ever hear you." He jiggled the toaster more and then stuck a fork in it. "I sure don't see any toast in here."

Thinking fast, I unplugged the toaster and grabbed the fork from him. "That's because THERE IS NO TOAST IN THERE!" By now I felt certain the neighbors three blocks over had heard the news that there was no toast in our toaster.

An incredulous look crossed Russ's face."You say there's a roast in there? Cin, I think your mind must be going. No one cooks a roast in the toaster. It looks like next year when I retire, we'll need to check out medigap plans for you that cover Alzheimers."

My mouth dropped open and my eyes blinked rapidly.

It's a good thing I had already tossed that piece of silverware in the sink -- otherwise we'd be looking for insurance that also covered stabbing by fork.


(Disclosure: This article is sponsored by your friends at MedicareSupplementalInsurance.com. For more disclosure information, please read the disclosure page.)

A Small Plug: If you enjoyed this semi-true, mostly funny story,  then sign up for my newsletter in the sidebar on the right. That way you won't miss out on future funny events.

"Do Medigap Plans Cover Hearing Loss?" © C.L. (Cindy Lynn) Beck
Tags: medigap plans, aging, MedicareSupplementalInsurance.com

RideUTA FrontRunner

By C.L. Beck

Not long ago, we had the opportunity to catch the RideUTA FrontRunner train on its maiden voyage from Provo to Salt Lake City, UT.

Wait ... isn't it boats that go on a maiden voyage? If so, what do trains go on? Oh, I know, a train-ing run!

At any rate, it was a fun ride. Smooth, and not at all herky-jerky like my first train ride of yesteryear in New York City.

Oh, all right. Picky, picky. That train ride in NYC was more like yester-century. There was probably a steam engine on that one.

But, back to the RideUTA FrontRunner. Here's an interesting fact: the train can only go up to 79 mph. We were told it has a device -- a governator -- to prevent it from going any faster.

I'm not quite sure what a governator does, except maybe retire from California politics and drive a train. And yet, I never actually saw Arnold Swarzeneggar sitting there, running the locomotive.

So, maybe I'll just say it had a thinga-ma-jiggy that prevented it from going faster than a speeding bullet.

All of which brings me down to this. The other day I was thinking about the experience and a joke came to mind:

A slightly tipsy hobo and his teetotaling friend are sitting at the station in Salt Lake City, hoping to hitch a ride unnoticed. The first one staggers, catches his balance, and says, "The world is changing, old buddy. Did you notice that none of these trains have a caboose?"

The second one says, "Yup, you're right. No cabooses. Probably because we're at the bus station."

How about you? Have you ever ridden on a train? And was it as sleek and sassy as the RideUTA FrontRunner?

A Small Plug: If you enjoyed this semi-witty humor article,  then sign up for my newsletter in the sidebar on the right. That way you won't miss out on future fun.

"RideUTA FrontRunner" © C.L. (Cindy Lynn) Beck  
Tags: RideUTA, FrontRunner, trains

Day of Remembrance for Sandy Hook Elementary

If you would like to donate to the Sandy Hook Elementary School Support Fund that will provide support services to the families and community that has been affected, please click the United Way link below and you'll be directed to the donations page.


(Thanks to Nike Litchfield Peterson for use of the above image.)

Tags: Sandy Hook Elementary

The Tabernacle Choir

Or ... I Can't Sing,  Are You Listening?
 By C.L. Beck

Our Community Choir Christmas Concert takes place soon. Did I mention I'm in the choir? (Yeah, I know. That's an amazing announcement from someone who can't sing.)

I never felt nervous in high school choir performances. And this time, I'm not nervous either. Petrified is a better word.

Most of the people in the choir have musical training. Our director has a graduate degree. No, not like Dustin Hoffman in "The Graduate." More like a graduate degree in music from a major university.  Plus, he toured with an internationally famous singing group.

Still, I don't let it get to me. After all, just because some people have performed in the Tabernacle Choir, that doesn't mean anything, right?

And then there's me. Hardly no musical training. Average voice. I sit there muttering, "Every good boy does fine" to figure out the notes and by the time I figure out the first two, the choir director's on to the next page.

He keeps saying consoling words to us. It could be my natural paranoia, but it seems like he's directing them at me ... "I hear some mistakes (looks pointedly at me), but it's okay. There are a few people missing now, who will be here for the performance, and it'll make a big difference when they come."

I'm thinking he's found some way to get Pavarotti and Caruso into the choir.

But ...  since they're both dead, maybe we don't really want them showing up? At least, I don't.

And then there's my propensity to end a song too soon. Or to come in when the men are supposed to sing and the women are supposed to be quiet.

But worst of all, there are the times when the director indicates we should all stand and my skirt gets caught on the folding seat. I try to stand up, and fall forward instead. There I lean, hanging on by my skirt, narrowly avoiding a face plant, my nose a mere two inches from the floor.

If you believe in the power of pray, please pray that on the night of the performance my voice won't crack and my skirt won't catch. If you don't believe in the power of prayer, pray I'll catch the stomach flu and have to stay home.

Still, I'm an optimist. Looking on the bright side -- if all my fears come true, there is one consolation. It'll give me fodder for next month's newspaper column.


(Author's note: If you enjoyed this mostly true story -- with a little bit of exaggeration thrown in -- then sign up for my newsletter in the sidebar on the right. That way you won't miss out on the fun.

The Tabernacle Choir © C.L. (Cindy Lynn) Beck,   Image © spider ara
Tags: Tabernacle Choir,  music, community choir

Twitter Feeds ... by C.L. Beck

It all started innocently enough. My friend, C. Larene Hall, had a new book out that Amazon was giving away free for a few days. And a brilliant thought occurred to me.

Okay, maybe not brilliant, but very smart.

Well, maybe not very smart, but ... umm ... all right ... so, a totally non-original idea came to me. "Announce it on Twitter!" I said to myself, while jumping for joy and clicking my heels in the air ... a move that my hubby, Russ, claims only results in my totally missing the heels and kicking myself instead.

Ha! I am Cindy, the graceful, the talented! I laugh at his insinuations.

After executing the jump, and then rubbing liniment on my bruised calves where I'd kicked them, I headed out to Twitter. Being conversant with the site, it only took me two or three or ten tries before I finally got it right. The entry read:

"Mary's Spyglass," kid's historical fiction by C.Larene Hall. Free at Amazon .... (Getting the word out for my friend!) #free

I even remembered to put in a hash tag!

Ah yes, my moment of glory. I showed it to Russ, and he frowned slightly. "You probably shouldn't include the word "#free." With your luck, that hashtag will link your tweet to something undesirable."

I looked at him out of the corner of my eye. Ha! I am Cindy, the talented tweeting genius! I laugh at his insinuations.

Besides, what does he know about tweets? He doesn't even have a Twitter handle.

I checked for comments to my tweet a few days later in one of my dashboards. Surely millions of my friends in Farmville were responding with glee to the offer of a free children's book.

Nope -- none. Zip. Zilch.

I guess they were all too busy learning how to tell boy goats from girl goats so they could milk the right one. But, there were several hashtag tweets that the dashboard indicated were simiar to mine. To whit:

#free amateur bondage videos dungeon

#free hot sex porn movies pitingmentsu1602

Do you want #free wine? Share this FB photo

[We interrupt this almost true story, written by Cindy, the talented tweeting genius, to provide a disclaimer. Although she denies a tendency to embellish everything that happens to her, and in reality can create a tornado out of a little dust devil, the aforementioned tweets are real. 

And now, we return you to your regular programming....]

So where was I? Oh yes. Amateur bondage videos and free wine. They should definitely co-exist in the same category as kid's historical fiction, right?

Well, all I can say is that -- despite what Russ says about it -- it wasn't my fault. It's Twitter's fault. Their software needs a little fine-tuning.

Okay, a lot of fine-tuning.

Still, when one of Twitter's programmers finally gets done fixing the whole hashtag thingy, I will not jump for joy nor click my heels together.

Mostly 'cause I'm out of liniment. But he can feel free to do so.


(Author's note: If you enjoyed this mostly true bit of humor, then sign up for my newsletter in the sidebar on the right. That way you won't miss out on future fiction  fun.

Twitter Feeds © C.L. (Cindy Lynn) Beck,   Image © Cieleke
Tags: Twitter, tweets, hashtags

World Series Joke

By C.L. (Cindy Lynn) Beck

It's time once again for the World Series. That season when men sit glued to the TV, cheering over a little orb thrown at ninety miles per hour ... which misses the catcher's glove and beans the umpire. So, in honor of America's national pastime, here's a good one.

World Series Joke

It's the World Series -- the Detroit Tigers against the San Francisco Giants -- and two of the opposing baseball players are bad-mouthing each other's pitchers. The Tiger's ballplayer says, "Your starting pitcher is so awful that he couldn't even lob a slowball across the plate."

And the Giant's ballplayer says, "Yeah? Well, you guys shoulda been named the KittyCats instead of the Tigers, cuz the only thing your pitcher is able to throw is a hairball."


(A note from C.L. Beck: If you enjoyed this bit of humor, then sign up for my newsletter in the sidebar on the right. That way you won't miss out on future fun. )  

World Series Joke © C.L. (Cindy Lynn) Beck 
Tags: funny joke, World Series, Detroit Tigers, San Francisco Giants
Baseball graphic © Billy Frank Alexander