Saturday, January 31, 2009

Friday, January 30, 2009

How to Buy a Motorcycle for FREE on eBay

This isn't a tutorial. This is a real story that happened to real people. And it can happen to anyone.

Let's just say you are in the market for a motorcycle.

The first thing you need to do is have a computer with Internet access. If you don't have one, use someone else's.

The next thing you need to do is know eBay inside out and if you don't know eBay that well, get someone to explain it.

Okay so you have the computer with Internet access and you know eBay like the back of your hand.

Go on a hunt for a motorcycle and since you're getting it for FREE, it doesn't matter what they say is the going price. It could be a million dollar bike, that's okay, price doesn't matter because it's not going to cost you a thing.

So let's say you've found THE BIKE. It's beautiful. Hardly used, not a scratch on it the owner says.

Your next step is to bid on it and since you know eBay like the back of your hand, you know in order to get that bike in your possession, you must bid lower than everyone else.

As luck would have it, your bid wins.

Here's the best part. As the seller, he is the one responsible for getting it to you. This guy wants to unload this bike so bad he can taste it so when you tell him it's not but an hour and a half away from his house, he tells you he'll bring it and you both set up a time.

The day arrives. The seller arrives at the destination you both agree on and bike is in tow.

And wouldn't you know. The seller brought no one with him and you did and the ones you brought along were part of one of the biggest eBay scams online.

You jump him, take the bike and you're history.

You are now the proud owner of an almost new bike for FREE.

This is a true story. One of my friends got suckererd into this. BTW, thanks Washington D.C. police force for doing a great job not finding it by now.

I tell you this story because I don't want you to fall into the same trap. If you have to travel to deliver merchandise, take some protection and a buddy or two.

If not, the next victim might be you.

One more thought...here's a video showing you how easy it is to rip one off the old-fashioned way...just walk up and take it...

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Dead Dog Paints Picture on Grill Cover

Beautiful but cold day today. The sun is blaring down on top of me in my computer room and I sit here and surf like I haven't got a thing to do (which is so not true).

But, while surfing, I came upon this story. I don't know if any of you have heard about this but there's this family in Colorado that has found a rather strange thing in their back yard.

The woman goes outside and she runs back in and tells her husband he better go out and see this. He gets outside and there is an image of their dead dog on their grill cover and they claim the water dripping on their grill cover might have created the image if you want to think realistically, but something else ran through their heads - Fletcher, the dog they had to put down and whose ashes are scattered across their back yard, is back.

Take a look at this video:



Is that the most amazing thing you have seen? I can tell they are telling the truth, and it kinda makes you wonder, doesn't it?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Special Guest: Going Gray - Getting Real by Maggie Rose Crane


Boomer Chick has a special guest today! Maggie Rose Crane, author of the self-help book for baby boomer women, Amazing Grays: A Woman's Guide to Making the Next 50 the Best 50 (Regardless of your hair color!), is here today with a special blog post. Maggie's life changed the moment she stopped listening to society's standards of the way we're supposed to look and act at a certain age and would like to tell her story...

Going Gray – Getting Real

As a woman in midlife, my decision to go gray was pivotal and changed me in ways I hadn’t anticipated.

I colored my hair for over 15 years. One day, in my mid-fifties, I was in the salon having my gray roots touched up once again. While waiting out the processing time, a sudden surge of energy began to slowly spiral through my body, beginning where I sit and rushing out the top of my head. It was very intense, and I felt like I had just orgasmed in public! I looked around to see if anyone else had noticed my wondrous experience, but they all seemed to be going about their business as usual.

Then I took a good long look in the mirror. Somebody looked back and with great passion seemed to ask, “What are you doing?”
I wasn’t sure what was happening, but a flood of questions bubbled up from within - Why was I putting myself through this? Who was I coloring my hair for? What was my fear of looking older? Would I be attractive with gray hair?

Like the deliberate turn of a kaleidoscope I felt my life being rearranged. It didn’t feel better or worse, just different. I decided right then and there that I would never color my hair again. Little did I know how much this decision was going to change my life.

First, going gray forced me to confront every fear, expectation and limiting belief I carried about growing older, especially in a society that’s obsessed with youth. Coloring my hair allowed me to pretend that I wasn’t getting older, yet inside I felt like it was time to embrace a new reality. I wasn’t old, just not-so-young.

Rather than allow these unconscious fears to run my life, I decided to confront them by bringing them into the light of day. Who said silver haired women are not attractive? Why do I believe my life is over just because my hair is gray? What do I think will happen to me? Confronting these unconscious expectations about getting “old” allowed me to move beyond them. These limiting beliefs are programmed into us from the time we’re small – and they will stay with us until we consciously confront them.

Secondly, I learned that when I redirected my focus from my “packaging” to my “essence”, I felt ageless. Sure my looks were important, but they no longer defined me. I had a looming sense of my mortality – and it was clear that someday was NOW. There was a deepening of purpose, and a sense that time was moving quickly. In the years to follow, I gave myself the gift of a 3-month silent retreat, wrote a book, danced in the Senior Follies, became a grandmother (twice!) and challenged myself by walking without support across a 30 foot telephone pole 40 feet in the air. It was exhilarating!

I appreciate that there is no past or future, only an ongoing series of now, now, now. How we live each “now” will greatly impact our quality of life going forward.

Third, while I did experience a sense of becoming invisible to some people, I decided that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. Some people would look right through me, which was a bit disconcerting at first. I finally decided that it was actually a bit of a relief to be off the treadmill of “Do I look nice? Do you find me attractive? Does this make my butt look big? Am I turning heads?” While it’s important to feel loved and desired by my husband, what other people think of me is none of my business. Now is the time to focus on the authentic me. Mind you, I don’t walk around in baggy potato sacks, but I will always choose comfort over style. These days, we’re fortunate to have options that allow us to have both.

I didn’t realize how inauthentic I had been feeling until my hairstylist made the final cut and left me with a head full of very short silver hair. As my artificially colored hair fell to the ground I felt freed from a part of me I no longer identified with. I felt lighter. More me.

So, while going gray is not the only way to experience ones authenticity – it sure worked for me! You can see photos and read the stories of other women who have taken the plunge in Amazing Grays and at the Gallery of Silver Sages at www.maggiecrane.com.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

10 Things You Didn't Know About Sandi Kahn Shelton

I have a special guest today! Old bud Sandi Kahn Shelton, whose blog I have been reading faithfully for a couple of years now, has graced us with a guest post!

When Jaime over at Pump Up Your Book Promotion asked me what I would like Sandi to blog about, I thought wouldn't it be cool to find out ten things about her that we didn't know?

I thought so. But let me tell you why she's here first. She's on a virtual book tour with us with her new book, Kissing Games of the World. Isn't that the most fantastic title you've ever heard of? To find out more about her book and Sandi, do visit her website at www.sandishelton.com.

10 Things You Never Knew About Sandi Kahn Shelton

1. She may be the first iced tea addict on the planet. Unsweetened, lots of ice. Her children are concerned. You would think she’s drinking vodka the way they carry on. Which she is not.

2. It took her seventeen years to write her first novel, but since then she’s shortened her turnaround time considerably.

3. She is married to Jim Shelton, and the two of them comprise the entire feature-writing staff at the New Haven Register. She also teaches fiction workshops and keeps a blog at www.sandishelton.com/blog.

4. Besides her novels, she’s also the author of three humor books about parenting and for ten years wrote the humor column for Working Mother magazine.

5. Theoretically, she believes in backing up her work on her computer, but never quite remembers to do it, despite an alarming number of disastrous computer crashes that have caused her to start entire books over again.

6. She is now on a Seriously Heart-stopping Deadline with her fourth novel. A deadline she fully intends to make. To aid in that, she is going to back up all her work. RIGHT NOW.

7. She writes most of her novels in Starbucks, not only because of the comfy armchairs and the venti cups of iced tea (extra ice), but because there is no internet there. She is powerless against the call of the internet when she’s supposed to be writing.

8. With each book, she makes up a playlist of songs that resonate with the characters or the plot, and if she’s ever not in the mood to write the book or has lost her way, she listens to the playlist and can get right back in the mood. Right now she’s listening to “Desperado,” which was the theme song of the male protagonist in Kissing Games of the World.

9. She believes in magic—the magic of getting books done on time when there is simply no way, the magic of having an agent call up one day and say, “They’re buying the book!” and the magic of having a bunch of compelling characters show up and start telling a story that must be told. All these things have happened to her, and she believes they can happen for all writers.

10. When she’s not writing, she’s cooking or knitting or talking to friends and family---all of which she sees as ways of being open to the next story that wants to come in.

Sandi Kahn Shelton is the author of three novels, all contemporary novels about relationships and family, including What Comes After Crazy, A Piece of Normal, and the latest, Kissing Games of the World. She’s also the author of three nonfiction humor books about parenting, and is a feature reporter for the New Haven Register. For years she wrote the “Wit’s End” column for Working Mother magazine, and she has been a contributor to Redbook, Salon, Reader’s Digest, and Woman’s Day. She’s been a writer for longer than she can actually remember—but she does remember her first sale. When she was 6 years old, her mother wouldn’t give her money for the ice cream truck, so she ran home and wrote a story and sold it to the neighbors for 20 cents. It was called “The King Who Slept For Three Hours and Forty-five Seconds” and she saw this as the beginning of a promising career path that would keep her in frozen desserts for the rest of her life. You can visit her website at www.sandishelton.com,and her blog at www.sandishelton.com/blog.

Today, Obama makes history

Un-believ-able. Words cannot express what I am watching here today. In a few short minutes, Barack Obama will become the first African American to become the President of the United States. They're showing shots of the crowd...un-believ-able. They say it's in the millions. The sun is out, but it's cold and the people are just out there.

I've got all three TVs turned on and he's traveling down Pennsylvania Avenue about to give his speech. My daughter and I are going to watch it together on her flat screen. I'll be back with commentaries as it goes along, but don't want to miss it! Be back!

12:00 p.m.

Boomer Chick welcomes into the White House the new President of the United States, Barack Obama! He's giving his speech now, he's confident, he's to the point, and he gives us all hope. This is the new age, folks. A time for better things, a time for change and more importantly, a time to realize we are all in this together.

Peace and happiness to America!

Remembering election night...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Special Guest: Dysthymia & Social Anxiety by Vivian Eisenecher

Boomer Chick has a special guest today! Vivian Eisenecher, author of the self-help book, Recovering Me, Discovering Joy: Uplifting Wisdom for Everyday Greatness, is here today with a special blog post. Vivian conquered alcoholism and would like to tell her story...

Dysthymia & Social Anxiety—The Straws that Stirred my Drink

Some alcoholics when diagnosed with alcoholism put the drink down and never go back to it. If alcohol is causing problems in their lives, they know they’re better off without it. There’s no underlying force driving them to drink again.

With others like me, alcohol serves such a profound purpose that we stubbornly hang on to it even when it’s destroying our lives. It was four very long, unnecessary years after being diagnosed with this insidious disease before I could convince myself to walk away it.

Why can’t some alcoholics let go of something that is killing them and creating terrible suffering for everybody close to them? Today I have an answer and I believe my experience can help solve one of the enduring mysteries of alcoholism--its stubbornly high relapse rate.

I suffered (and you may, too) from dysthymia (a chronic low-grade depression) and social anxiety disorder (SAD) or social phobia. All my life, I had wondered why everything seemed so hopeless, why my life seemed so meaningless, and why I was unable to experience any real joy. Along with that, I had a deep, lifelong fear of people.

Left untreated, not only does anxiety and depression affect ones quality of life but they can lead to substance abuse and other negative behaviors. Both indeed complicated my recovery and prolonging my active alcoholism!

After my first taste of alcohol, I felt like I had finally found a solution for my sadness and fear. And the relief I felt far outweighed any derogatory effects. But after a while, my rescue became my ruin and I became caught in the vortex of addiction, powerless to stop drinking or even slow down.

Alcoholics Anonymous is known to be one of the most effective solutions for most alcoholics. But, I wouldn’t recommend it for social phobics! Twelve-step meetings where participants are expected to mingle and speak in front of a group of people are precisely the kinds of situations that social phobics fear most! For many, AA nurtures sobriety but for me it contributed to my relapses! Relapses create unnecessary guilt and shame. Unable or unwilling to stop drinking, many feel like pitiful losers, disappointing their friends and family again and again. But this doesn’t have to be. Social anxiety is easily treated.

If you are a repeatedly relapsing alcoholic, please make sure you have been screened for any underlying issues such as anxiety or depression.

It took the successful treatment of not only alcoholism but also my chronic low-grade depression and my social phobia for me to recognize that these two lifelong disorders were ‘triggers’ for my alcoholism. They were the ugly underbelly of the beast. Substance abuse was a mere symptom of two underlying disorders that were not discernible to anyone, not even me. My groundbreaking book, Recovering Me, Discovering Joy gives an inside look at my experience, strength and hope. Above all else it chronicles how I finally conquered my alcoholism.

After my anxiety and depression were lifted and with new found clarity of thought, I could finally understand what drove me to drink. I wasn’t such an awful person after all! Not only did I become successfully sober but I was finally capable of enjoying life. The raising of awareness about the powerful connection between anxiety, depression and alcoholism could quite possibly offer a better life for those who still suffer. No one should go through the torturous journey of chronic substance abuse.

Are you having trouble with issues such as these? If you are there are solutions! Don’t suffer another minute. Get help!

For an uplifting dose of encouragement and inspiration, go to: www.recoveringme.com and order my newly released book: Recovering Me, Discovering Joy.

Over the Rainbow

This speaks for itself...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Do baby boomers need to step aside?

I am so sorry I've not posted in the last week, but I'm in the middle of keeping this month's authors' tours in check and securing stops for next month's authors, plus promo, plus keeping my book marketing blog updated daily and poor ol' Boomer Chick needs a break.

So, I sat down with one of my client's books and decided the perfect book would be Amazing Grays: A Woman's Guide to Making the Next 50 the Best 50 by Maggie Rose Crane.

Maggie's book I knew would be a fun read even though it touches on a very important message - no matter how old we get, we still have to remember to keep it real, we still have to keep in touch with our Inner Goddess, and how we shouldn't let a little thing like aging keep us tied to the old belief that we're just one more step toward the coffin. I believe that aging is going to come, no need to stop believing in our dreams and our goals and whatever it is out there that is making us happy. Well, Maggie believes that, too.

So I'm sitting there at work (it's incredibly slow right now so I can get plenty of reading in) and I start. I get to about page 7 and something hits me like a ton of bricks.

She wrote:

"It all began with the swiveling hips of Elvis, the yeah yeah yeah of the mop-topped Beatles and the great revolution that was Rock 'n' Roll...Now, our generation's first cultural contribution - establishing youth as its own distinct culture - is coming back to bite us! Millions of baby boomers who saw themselves as integral to the radical culture of yesteryear are now struggling to let go and swallow a very hard truth: it's another generation's turn to set the standard."


You know, that's a hard pill to swallow for this boomer chick. When did that happen?

Think back, when did this actually happen?

My daughter and I were coming back from Wally World last night, right. It was raining and dark and of course I had my hands gripped on the side of the door with my imaginary brake pedal glued to my feet, while she was whipping through the rain like it was nothing.

Now between the highway and our house is this causeway. I've often talked about it before, but it's about a 3 mile span that allows you to go over water and marsh and takes you to the island which is where we live. It's a combination of road and bridge and has only two lanes. Much of it you can go 55 m.p.h., but there are other places where you have to go lower. Doesn't matter. If she's not going 60, she has seizures.

So I've got my hand gripped on the side of the door and my feet planted on my imaginary breaks and the worse thing that could happen to me happens. Two cars in front of us are going 45. I mean, it's raining for God's sakes; people are going to go slow over a bridge in the rain at night.

So I'm all prepared for her to try to pass them. The thing is, in the rain and in the dark, you can't see who is coming over some of the parts of the road that rises. I mean, those double yellow lines are there for a purpose, you know?

But I know she's going to do it and we have this fight every single time and that's why I hate riding with her.

Before she even has a chance to pass, I tell her, "Don't pass!" and she says, "For God's sake, Mom, they're going freaking 45 miles per hour," and I say, "Do not pass!"

So she gets all bent out of shape and I say the magic words, "Are you going against me?"

I've not used those words since she was a teenager (the girl is 30 now).

Well. Ho-ney. So she's pissed. I mean royally pissed. A car behind her passes us AND the two cars in front of us and she goes, "GO AHEAD, CAR, AT LEAST YOUR MOM ISN'T TELLING YOU WHAT TO DO!"

She hated me. I mean royally hated me at that moment. She has this thing about living with me, thinking she should be out on her own, and this was one of those moments she was talking about.

I just wanted to live. I didn't care how much she hated me.

I tell you this story because it's an example of how much I'm fighting the issue. I know it's time for the next generation to step in and have their say and be right just like it was for us back in the sixties, but I'm happy to say this time, Mom was back in town.

I'll be talking about Maggie's book more in depth next week over at my reviewing blog, As the Pages Turn, so you might want to stop on over there to find out more about this inspiring woman who can be a role model to all us baby boomers!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

We'll always remember Babs

I just heard that a longtime online friend, Barbara Williamson Woods, has passed away. I know she had been battling cancer. We pray for the family and we send them our heartfelt condolences.

Let me tell you about Babs. It's quite a story. She was a member of one of my online groups, The Writer's Life. We didn't know she had cancer; in fact, she didn't know she had it herself until after she moved to Montana.

Let me also tell you the story of how she ended up there.

Of all the things in the world, she wanted to move back to her beloved mountains but she didn't know how to go about it herself.

My writing group members got together and found a way for her to get there. Someone donated money for the bus ride and once she got there, someone helped her get a computer. Don't ever estimate the love you have for online friends.

We'd hear from her now and then, but not very often. She would cough a lot when one of us would call her, so her lungs must have played into this somewhere. She was a smoker. I remember one time talking to her on the phone and she was so full of laughs, but coughed as I was coughing along with her. I'm a smoker, too. I've cut back my smoke intake to half, but still.

Babs had hopes and dreams and moving to Montana was what she wanted to do before she died. And she did it. Becoming a published author was her hope and dream. And she did it.

Unfortunately for us, it was time for her maker to take her back. We will miss you, Babs.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Skylar's New Shoes

I can't stop laughing...Skylar doing a dance in her new shoes (it was taken from a cell phone so it's a bit blurry)...

Storm Over the Island and Unknown Chincoteague Bird

My daughter just sent me some pictures she took a day or so ago when the northeasterner blew through here, thought I'd add them to the blog to see what they look like. I had bought her a new camera for Christmas and want to see how they show up, so here goes nothing.

This first one is my favorite. It looks like a scene out of The Birds. This building is off to the left of us. Melissa is standing on her deck so it's one the second level and gives her an advantage. The cold front is either going through or is passing, but that's why the sky looks the color it does.


This is after the front has gone through and the winds started pounding down on the island. It's a beautiful sunny day but the water is very, very choppy so you'll not see any boats out. The dish like thing in the upper left is NASA. On a clear day, you can see NASA from my front door. Melissa had her zoom on so it isn't quite that close at all.



Now this is an unusual bird I saw hanging out by my back steps. I told Melissa to take a picture of it real quick because I couldn't figure out what it was. She suggested pigeon, but I don't think so. Look at how fat that thing is. Anyone know what kind of bird this is? There were two others with it. They both flew off but this one remained long enough to snap his picture.

Is this early stages of Alzheimer's?

Okay, so I get up, right. I do my usual...walk downstairs, pour some pepsi, open the back door to let the view in, check the temp on the temp thingee on the counter.

I see that it is almost 50 degrees so I decide it's warm enough to take the dogs out for their morning constitutional.

Max is first. He's good, pees on everything in site, grabs a pine cone and comes back in.

Cassie is getting a bit older, so she's slower, but she pees where Max pees (dogs have terrific sniffers no matter how old they are) and we go back in.

Skylar is last, she pees, we go back in. But by the time I got back to the door to let her in, I notice something. My daughter's truck isn't in the driveway. And that's strange.

Her morning habits are get up, fix a Toaster Strudel, head back to bed. Watch TV, head back down to cook some bacon and that's usually when I get up with her.

But the toaster is moved and not put back and no bacon grease to be found, so she's in between Toaster Strudel Land and Bacon Land. But, her truck isn't in the driveway. Very very strange.

I start to kinda sorta panic because this is out of the norm. Something must have happened. She never goes anywhere without going through the bacon stage. Never. You think I'm kidding? I kid you not. You need to live with her.

So, the first thing I think of is her truck was stolen in the middle of the night. I throw Skylar inside, race up two flights of stairs, throw her door open, she's not in there.

I grab the phone and call her, hoping and praying she answers because this is too weird, something had to have happened.

"Hello?"

"Where are you???"

"Mom, I'm at work."

"Work?"

"Uh, yeah, remember yesterday I told you I had to pull a 12 hour shift today?"

I wanted to lie. I wanted to say oh yeah I remember it, and I did suddenly, but I felt so damn stupid, you know? But I couldn't say, "NO, I don't remember it," because then she would really think I was heading into senility for sure. Decisions, decisions.

"Oh yeah," I finally said, "well, I just wanted to let you know I'll be having pork chops tonight."

"Sounds good, Mom."

"Okay, don't work too hard."

"Yeah, right."

I hang up and I do remember her telling me that. Now. I want to blame it on it being the fact I just got out of bed. That works, doesn't it? I'm NOT getting old, am I???? Am I????

Enjoy a nice little video about getting old...not that I am of course...

Monday, January 05, 2009

Rock of Love Charm School rocked today!

Did anyone see Rock of Love Charm School today? Omg, watch this...it's all over the news...



Sharon Osbourne rocks! There was a discussion on a social network today over who was the bully in this - Sharon or the girl in the bikini, Megan. Sharon was the hero, that's all I know.

I remember this one kid in the neighborhood. She was awful, loved to bully the other kids especially my sister who was younger. That's just the way she was. She was heavy set and wanted to knock the kids around just for the hell of it.

One day I couldn't take it any longer and when she had her back turned, I took my plastic baseball bat and whacked her across the back of her legs. BOOM! Down she went.

I grabbed my sister and we flew the hell out of there. Denise. That was her name. Can't remember her last name, but that girl was evil and deserved it. Just like Megan. You don't go talking all big and bad and think you can get away with it and some people deserve to be put in her place.

I'll never forget it. I don't know what ever happened to her, but I'll never forget that.