A Quick Smile ... And BOOK GIVEAWAYS!

Posted by Cindy Beck
Funny anecdote received from the Good Clean Funnies

The Old Ford

When my husband, Mark, took his beat-up pickup truck to our
insurance agent for a pre-insurance inspection, the teen-age
receptionist was sent to look over the truck. Armed with a
checklist and a few simple questions, she breezed through
the chore. She asked, "What are the age and make of the

Mark replied, "It's a '65 Ford." Apologetic about its
desperate condition, he added, "It's an old fossil."

Inside, the office assistant entered the data into her
computer and frowned. "Is there a problem?" asked Mark.

"Mr. Evans, our computers have a lot of automotive data,"
she explained, "but it's never heard of a Ford Fossil."


To enter, leave a comment no later than Friday at midnight on this blog and tell me which of the two books below you'd like to win. If you'd like a chance to win both books, become a follower (click on the follower link in the sidebar), and leave a comment telling me you did it and that you'd like a chance to win both books. It's that simple. Winners will be drawn by random and announced the following week.


It's Just My Nature
by Carol Tuttle
A Guide to Knowing and Living Your True Nature

From the Back Cover:
Why do we use the term "human nature?" What do we mean by "nature?" What does it mean when we say someone has a natural gift? Where does this gift come from? Best-selling author, Carol Tuttle, provides compelling and life changing answers to these simple questions in her newest book, It’s Just My Nature!

It’s Just My Nature! reveals a startlingly accurate method for assessing your personality and behavioral tendencies with a new system called Energy Profiling.

Note: If you don't win, you can always order Carol Tuttle's book at Amazon.com (click here). You can also visit Carol at: www.thecarolblog.com.

(Catharine Lanigan is a charming, articulate woman that I met at a Cedar Fort Writer's Conference in May of this year. She was more than willing to share tips and tricks to help anyone who wanted to break into the romance market. Thank you, Catherine, for your kindness to those coming up behind you! )

Writing the Great American Romance Novel by Catherine Lanigan

From the Back Cover:
If you love writing love stories, this comprehensive guide shows how to break into the romance genre, which accounts for more than half of all mass-market paperback sales. Bestselling romance author, Catherine Lanigan, offers every writing tool you need as well as insight into the writer's relationship with agents, editors, and publicists.

Note: If you don't win, you can always order Catherine Lanigan's book at Allworth Press (click here).

Pocket Taser

Posted by Cindy Beck
Author unknown, received in an email.

I didn't write this, although it's so funny I wish I had. A friend sent it in an email, and I could actually envision a number of my guys trying what the man said he did in this story. I laughed until I cried while I read it. Hope you enjoy it.

Photo by Junglecat/Wikimedia Commons

Pocket Taser: Only a Man Would Try This

(Author unknown)

Last weekend I saw something at Larry's Pistol & Pawn Shop that sparked my interest. The occasion was our 15th anniversary and I was looking for a little something extra for my wife, Julie. What I came across was a 100,000-volt, pocket/purse-sized taser. The effects of the tazer were supposed to be short lived, with no long-term adverse affect on your assailant, allowing the victim adequate time to retreat to safety....


Long story short, I bought the device and brought it home. I loaded two AAA batteries in the darn thing and pushed the button. Nothing! I was disappointed. I learned, however, that if I pushed the button and pressed it against a metal surface at the same time, I'd get a blue arc of electricity darting back and forth between the prongs.


Unfortunately, I have yet to explain to Julie what that burn spot is on the face of her microwave.

Okay, so I was home alone with this new toy, thinking to myself that it couldn't be all that bad with only two triple-A batteries, right? There I sat in my recliner, my cat Gracie looking on intently (trusting little soul) while I was reading the directions and thinking that I really needed to try this thing out on a flesh & blood moving target. I must admit I thought about zapping Gracie (for a fraction of a second) and thought better of it. She is such a sweet cat. But, if I was going to give this thing to my wife to protect her against a mugger, I did want some assurance that it would work as advertised.

So, there I sat in a pair of shorts and a tank top with my reading glasses perched delicately on the bridge of my nose, directions in one hand, and taser in another. The directions said that a one-second burst would shock and disorient your assailant; a two-second burst was supposed to cause muscle spasms and a major loss of bodily control; a three-second burst would purportedly make your assailant flop on the ground like a fish out of water. Any burst longer than three seconds would be wasting the batteries.

All the while I'm looking at this little device measuring about 5" long, less than 3/4 inch in circumference; pretty cute really and (loaded with two itsy, bitsy triple-A batteries) thinking to myself, "No possible way!" What happened next is almost beyond description, but I'll do my best.

I'm sitting there alone, Gracie looking on with her head cocked to one side as to say, "Don't do it." I figured that a one second burst from such a tiny little ole thing couldn't hurt all that bad. I decided to give myself a one second burst just for heck of it. I touched the prongs to my naked thigh, pushed the button, and ....


I'm pretty sure Jessie Ventura ran in through the side door, picked me up in the recliner, then body slammed us both on the carpet, over and over and over again. I vaguely recall waking up on my side in the fetal position, with tears in my eyes, body soaking wet, my chest burning, with my left arm tucked under my body in the oddest position, and tingling in my legs. The cat was making meowing sounds I had never heard before, clinging to a picture frame hanging above the fireplace, obviously in an attempt to avoid getting slammed by my body flopping all over the living room.

Note: If you ever feel compelled to "mug" yourself with a taser, one note of caution: there is no such thing as a one second burst when you zap yourself! You will not let go of that thing until it is dislodged from your hand by a violent thrashing about on the floor. A three second burst would be considered conservative.


A minute or so later (I can't be sure, as time was a relative thing at that point), I collected my wits (what little I had left), sat up and surveyed the landscape. My bent reading glasses were on the mantel of the fireplace. The recliner was upside down and about 8 feet or so from where it originally was. My triceps, right thigh and chest were still twitching. My face felt like it had been shot up with Novocain, and my bottom lip weighed 88 lbs. I had no control over the drooling.

And I saw a faint smoke cloud above my head which I believe came from my hair.

P.S. My wife can't stop laughing about my experience, loved the gift, and now regularly threatens me with it.

If you think education is difficult, try being stupid!

What's playing in my head: Nothing, I'm laughing too much to have a song in my head.


Of Cats and Birds ... by Cindy Beck

© 2009, Cindy Beck

Everyone … well, almost everyone … had a pet as a kid. In fact, I still have one. I call him, “Russ.”

Oh wait, that’s my husband. My pet is a dog named Corky Porky Pie and the Porky part fits well (the dog, not Russ). But I digress ....

When I was a teenager, I owned a parakeet named George. He wasn’t very bright. He once bit my uncle, who was trying to teach him to whistle. George subsequently picked up a few other names from my uncle that couldn't be repeated in polite company. When it finally dawned on us that “George” was a misnomer, we nicknamed him something more accurate—“That Stupid Bird.”

I also owned a cat. I should’ve named him, “That Stupid Cat,” but instead I called him Oedipus Rex. It was a dignified, grand name for a cat that we later realized liked to leave his calling card on every bush in the yard. Therefore, we shortened it (his name, not his calling card) to Eddie.

Eddie would sit in front of the birdcage every day, admiring George-That-Stupid-Bird and watching him for hours. Being a teenager with dreamy notions of romance, I thought Eddie was in love with his feathered friend, and that his attraction knew no bounds.

I had at least part of it right.

One day while doing homework in my bedroom, I heard George-That-Stupid-Bird kicking up a fuss, squawking and slapping his wings against the bars of the cage. Rushing into the room, I was greeted by feathers flying everywhere. Eddie was on top of the cage with a mouthful of tail feathers, tugging and pulling on the upside down George-That-Stupid-Bird in an effort to get him through the half-inch slats. It resembled something from the Saturday morning Looney Tunes.

I grabbed Eddie and bounced him up and down. Well, at least as much as possible without jerking the bird in his mouth through the cage’s bars. Finally, the cat let go of the bird.

End of story. So much for romance.

And there should be a moral to this tale, but I’ll be danged if I know what it is … unless it’s that a bird in the cage is more enticing than two in the bush.

What's playing in my head: The Looney Tunes Theme.


Cindy's Brain Joins the Circus

By Cindy Beck

Why is it that when I open a blog composition box, my brain runs away and joins the circus?

Really, it's not that hard to write a blog, is it? Nowadays, almost everyone does it ... including Bo-Bo, the Chimp. I'm proud to say that even my seventy-three-year-old mother, who's definitely smarter than Bo-Bo, writes a blog.

Wait. Look at that last sentence. Is "seventy-three-year-old" really supposed to have that many hyphens? It looks like someone took a knife and stabbed it in multiple places.

I'm thinking it's questions like "What hyphens go where?" that cause my knees to shake and my insides to feel like they're filled with live gummy worms when writing something for the Internet. After all, what if I hyphenate something wrong? Or my spellcheck runs a mock and lets all kinds of pore lee spelled words through?

For many years, I chugged along in ignorant bliss believing that if I made errors on a web page and posted it, I could delete the page seconds later. Poof ... with one keystroke, all my grammar sins would be forgiven.

But, nope.

Some time ago, in a heart wrenching moment of discovery, I learned that in a galaxy far, far away there is actually an archive that's been keeping track of posted web pages—you know, the www.SomethingOrOther.com type pages—since the Dark Ages of 1996.

Alas and alack, yes.

I'd list the address of the archives, in case there are some who want to check the accuracy of my facts, but I intend to delete this entry right after I post it, in case it contains errors and is being archived.

Besides that, I can't remember the address. Along with being a talented, fat-fingered typist who can fool spellcheck with sound-alike words (also known as homophones), I have a memory that's like cheesecloth tied in a knot. Or not. See? Another homophone.

It's lucky for me that I have such a sieved memory, because otherwise I'd be out there moaning over my misspelled words, poorly placed images, and text that looks like it was written in China.

Still, despite the dangers of making a bloggy mistake that makes me look like I'm related to Bo-Bo the Chimp, I'm here today, posting more words to grieve over in the future.

Why? Because after a vast amount of research (ten seconds just now on the 'Net), I'm thinking the robots that do the archiving can't access this blog. I'm not sure what that means for Bo-Bo the Chimp, but for me it means I'm safe as long as I'm here.

And that makes me feel a lot better. Therefore ... let the miss steaks beguine and the chips fall wear they Mae!

(Author's note: This blog entry was all in fun, but the archives are real and if you're interested in accessing them, you can find them here: http://www.archive.org/web/web.php


Winner of last week's contest:

The winner of the book, "The Sunflower Club" is Shirley Bahlmann! Wahoo, Shirley, way to go!


What's playing in my head: Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite, by the Beatles.