Thursday, July 29, 2010

No cable? No Problem.

This past spring hubby and I gave up our cable. We now use one of those digital converter boxes and antennas. I thought I'd have nothing to watch. Actually, I think we've watched more quality programming than before. PBS (there are now five of them we can watch - there is seven actually but one is in Spanish and one is the state Legislative channel) has become a mainstay. Between all the concerts, travel, cooking, gardening, home improvement, nature and documentaries we are covered. There are even two 24-hour weather channels.

There's only one show I miss, watching the Rays on TV. But, there's always the radio. What it comes down to is that when we had a hundred channels there were many times when there was nothing on. So now I don't feel bad when there is nothing on as it costs me nothing. Bonus? I'm reading more often.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Analyze This!

I been spending lots of time learning the ins and outs of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and SMO (Social Media Optimization) as we delve into Web 2.0 at work.

It's been fun. It also reminded me how much fun over the years I've had with my blog. When I started this thing back in July 2003 I never imagined I'd be here still writing on it. Heck - who knew if blogs would still exist in 2010. Change is constant on the social web.

This blog has been a place I've shared by joys and sorrows as well as many of my hopes and dreams. It has allowed me to be creative when my job didn't offer much of it. And to stay in touch with friends and family.

So now I'm back looking how to increase my traffic and spread the gospel of social media. Ok, not really. There are plenty of people out there talking about social media. I still want to talk about myself and what I am thinking about.

Now if I can get my Google account to stop acting like a teenager, shutting the door to my account when I want to use it. Some things in life are harder than others.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

I'm Mad. Pissed off.

It's been tough reading and seeing the video and pictures of the oil washing up on the beautiful beaches of the panhandle of Florida.

These were pristine areas.

Here in Florida we didn't agree to have drilling off the coast for this reason. So much we have here is based on tourism. People coming here taking vacations to see our beautiful coasts and waters. Swim, fish, enjoy the beauty.

I'm really worried we have managed to ruin miles and miles of lovely coast. Along with all of the animals that are gone. I saw tonight we might lose blue fin tuna because of this spill. Did you know 3 out of 5 sea turtle species are found in the Gulf of Mexico? They are dying quickly.

For you who are in different parts of the country or world you too should be mad. We, the American people, have caused this with our desires for more and more oil rather than using less and demanding the use of technologies that can move us towards less and less oil dependence. Drill baby drill? Really?

I'm mad. I am pissed off. This is my home and I can't believe some foreign company could be so careless with people's livelihoods and our environment which is so precious.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Bon Appetit!

I finished reading Appetite for Life, The Biography of Julia Child by Noel Riley Fitch. What a fantastically interesting woman Julia was. The public persona we think of with her teaching french dishes on PBS to the masses was only a part of her. In fact, she didn't get famous until she was about 50. I loved reading about her marriage to Paul Child. They loved each other tremendously and made each other successful. When he died in the book, I was very sad as I could only image how she must have felt.

I empathized with her as she was never able to have children and that would be her only regret at the end of her life. I wonder if I could move on with life and grab it by the horns as she was able to - to find so many ways that brought her joy and meaning.

Her young adult life in the service to this country was so fascinating. As this book was published before the government released that she was a spy it was more exciting.

The book was dry at times and there is a LOT of french food not defined but the story was compelling and I have a new appreciation for a woman that was often parodied as a smart, hard-working, joyous woman who revolutionized food television and the cookbook industry.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


I'm very upset. Reading about how the Pope might have known and chosen NOT do anything about pedophile priests years ago. There is no excuse that anyone would turn their back on children being hurt in such terrible ways. If this is true I think he should step down.

This type of thing is really getting out of control and all the Church can do to move forward is to institute a policy that anyone involved in or sanctioning anyone involved with, should be removed from pastoral care immediately. I don't care who you are.

Sad. So sad. It's time we gain the trust of those within our own flocks by saying this is not acceptable. It is acceptable.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

What I learned...

I was unemployed for more than six months in the past year. I saw more episodes of TV shows than I care to admit. I stayed in my PJ's many a day. I wrote and sent probably 100 resumes and cover letters - maybe more! I cried, I yelled, I was depressed. Now that I've got a new job to start I've reflected on the past year.

Losing your job once, let alone two times in one year is a blow to ones ego. I had thought I was important to my work places. Nah. They moved on without me.

So here are some of what I've learned in the past year:

1. Nothing stays the same. Flexibility is important to survive these tough times. It will serve you well in life.
2. It isn't personal, but it is. Most likely it was a financial decision that caused me to lose my job and many others who are in the same boat. But at the same time, it is deeply personal to the person it is effecting. For those who know the unemployed, understand that. They most likely are mad, sad, pissed, mortified, devastated. You can't know until it happens to you.
3. It's OK to ask for help. It's hard to get a job. Especially now. You need to tell everyone you know you are out of work. Asking others for help getting the work out, passing along your resume, looking at your resume, giving a reference or just listening to you.
4. Be good to yourself. Eat well, exercise, go to local parks, visit friends and family, read those books you've been meaning to and anything else that can bring you joy. There are so many things you can do for little or no money, look for them! Being happier will make you a better job candidate.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Park Tour 2010

The cold weather has left Florida with many brown/dead plants. But the warm weather has returned and the outdoors called to me when I suggested to my sister Laura we spend the afternoon in a local park.

We decided on Philippe Park in Safety Harbor. It's the oldest park in the county that is situated on the northwest coast of Tampa Bay. It has a little bit of everything: beaches, extensive tree canopy, mangroves, historic landmarks, wildlife and stunning views of the bay.
View from south boardwalk across bay - Photo: Laura Knupke-Coe

View along beach - Photo: Laura Knupke-Coe

We learned that the park's namesake, Odette Philippe, had a plantation there. He also introduced grapefruit and cigars to the area. We also learned there were native Americans living there, the Tocobaggas. There is a large Indian mound at the park that has wonderful views.

What makes this park different is the beach accesses at the south end of the park. Where a car, sometimes two, can park and a short walk through the parted mangroves you find quiet beaches.

My sister noted so many people spend so much time trying to explore the world so few take the time to explore the cool areas around where they live. I agreed. Here in central Florida there are so many beautiful natural areas and this one was 15 minutes from my house. Good reminder that with very little money and with a little free time, you can have a really great afternoon.