My Weirdest Pet Peeve

This probably best explains why I am the DETAIL ORIENTED Desktop Publisher. =)

Proofreading

A lot of people would find my BIGGEST pet peeve weird. When most people go to a restaurant, for example, they look at the menu and decide what to eat. I look at the menu and… point out typos!

I can't STAND typos! Every time I see one – especially in a printed menu or advertising copy – it just irks me to no end. (Mind you, I've mellowed with age. But, still….)

I guess that's part of why I do so well at proofreading and desktop publishing – I have an innate ability to zero in on typos. If you'd like me to zero in on your typos before your copy goes public, let me know! I'll be happy to take a look.

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The Scariest Moment Came When

A little boy’s first great adventure in the wilderness. =)

Haunted House Behind the Middle School

Wide-eyed and curious, he had really enjoyed the drive up to Flagstaff, Arizona in the back of his parents’ cream-colored Chevy Malibu. The scenery from Phoenix, on Interstate 17 was pleasant enough. And, he always got a kick out of passing the road sign for “Bumble Bee, AZ” – as soon as he saw it, “Bumble Bee Tuna’s” jingle would start running through his head. On some trips, he’d even start singing it – “Bum bum bumble bee, bumble bee tuna. I love bumble bee, bumble bee tuna…”.

But, on this trip, his dad had just installed a new, hi-fi, super-deluxe, 8-track player. (Hey, it was a big deal back in the 70’s.) And, his favorite tape was the motion-picture soundtrack for “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”. His favorite song was “Rain Drops Keep Fallin’ on My Head”. And, his dad played it all the way up to Flagstaff. It was a great ride, singing along with the tape and his parents.

Once they reached their cabin in the pines, they were ankle-deep in snow. And, little Bobby loved it! He almost immediately laid down in the snow to make a snow angel. “Sure, go ahead and explore, Bobby, but stay close by. We’re going to have dinner soon,” said his mom.

Bobby, never having been in the forest before, was even more excited and wide-eyed than he’d been in the car. He thought the feeling of the pine trees’ trunks was funny – it tickled his palm. He noticed how absolutely quiet it was. He couldn’t hear noises that he’d never even really noticed back in the city – the hum of air conditioners on people’s roofs, barking dogs way on the other side of the neighborhood, even the faint sound of neighbors’ home stereos. Now that those (and just about every other sound) were missing, he really took note.

At first, the lack of sound was somewhat peaceful. But, then he remembered a movie he’d seen in which all of the sound suddenly stops. All of the characters noted that jungle or forest sounds suddenly stopping usually meant that some sort of predator was nearby – for, all of the animals try to hide by not making a sound. This started to creep little Bobby out.

Then, he came upon what looked to him like a huge, old, mansion in the middle of the woods. Bobby noticed that the house looked uninhabited because of how unkempt it was. He found this interesting, so he stepped closer to get a better look. Before he knew it, a very strange yet powerful feeling came over him. Without even, honestly, really seeing anything that appeared threatening or dangerous, a wave of absolute terror swept over the little boy.

Scary ideas and images, even not totally formed, raced through his head and scared the crap out of him!

So, he crept slowly back the way he came, the look of terror on his face the whole way. It was the most strange and eerie feeling he’d ever felt. Despite there being no real and apparent threat around, Bobby just KNEW in his very soul that something was out there. Maybe there was a real predator somewhere in the forest nearby; maybe the old mansion was actually still inhabited, but by mean and evil people, maybe the mansion was haunted!

“Yes, haunted!”, Bobby thought to himself. “That’s it! That has to be it.” He scampered back to his parents’ cabin and hugged his mom and dad like never before. And, he was safe again… or, was he?

Social Media Musings

I attended a panel discussion about Monitoring Social Media at Social Media Club Phoenix‘s meeting last night. It was very well done and informative. If nothing else, it certainly got me thinking about my plans to be the “DETAIL ORIENTED Desktop Publisher” and make money with it. Here are some of said musings:

Is it important to have your content (blog, Tweet, FB post, etc.) proofread and edited for style, grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc.? Is it important enough to (1) pay someone to do this proofreading and editing and (2) wait for the proofreader to get the edited text back to you?

In Social Media monitoring, how many tweets/posts/etc. go un-monitored because of spelling errors? What if you’re monitoring the term “witch” but 15% of respondents spell it “which” (say, because you accidentally spelled it that way in your blog post)?

So, let me pose the main question to you!

I Never Believed This Was Possible – But Now I Do

Why Diversity Is a Good Thing

Unity in Diversity

I never believed that I view the world… AS I AM, until I read "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People". Once I experienced this for myself by experimenting with the idea of RESPONSE-ability, I most definitely had what Oprah would call an "Ah ha!" moment and what Stephen Covey would call a "paradigm shift".

As the years went by and I read more and experienced more, I came to another, related realization that the lens (or paradigm) that I view the world through is constantly changing so long as I allow it to change. And, the more it changes, the more I become aware of (some would say "remember") the many facets and gradations that the world holds.

I've come to believe that almost nothing is black-or-white, good-or-bad, love-or-hate, or right-or-wrong. The world has infinite variations, infinite beauty, infinite paradigms. Not only that, but there is immense VALUE in those infinite paradigms.

The next time someone comes to you and says your idea is all wet, or you're all wrong, or they just disagree with you, instead of getting all upset and huffy, try RESPONDing (instead of the usual REACTing) with EXCITEMENT and EAGER ANTICIPATION of them sharing with you the way THEY look at the situation or idea. You'll be amazed at the richness and detail found when you both openly interact on the issue instead of battling one another over who's "right" and who's "wrong".

I love you.

My Favorite Summer Memory

My favorite summer memory was the summer of 1985. My parents took my brother and I from Phoenix, AZ to Fort Bragg, CA in a camper shell on the back of their Chevy Pickup Truck.

We spent two full weeks in that camper shell. My little brother and I had to share the lower bed that was created from moving the dining table down and flipping the bench cushions down into a pseudo-bed. Actually, we didn't share the bed for long. I ended up sleeping in a sleeping bag on the floor of the camper. … Because… my little brother liked to (unknowingly, he insists)… CUDDLE in his sleep. At 15, I could only take so much cuddling with my 7-year-old brother.

Beyond that, it was great fun being on the open road with my whole family for two weeks. After we visited my Great Uncle in Fort Bragg, we took our time travelling down the Pacific Coast Highway. We stopped at the beach several times and spent the night at KOAs most of the trip. (KOA is an acronym which stands for Kampgrounds Of America.) We stopped in San Francisco, Anaheim (Disneyland, yay!), San Diego, and several other points in between. Then, we finally drove back home.

And, as much fun as that two week mega-vacation was, after spending two weeks in a camper shell, our house appeared HUGE by comparison. After two weeks in living quarters with a ceiling barely higher than the top of my head, our house's eight foot ceilings seemed absolutely PALATIAL!

Great fun!

I mean REALLY old

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