Melinda Herman and the gun debate

Over seven minutes elapsed from the time her husband called to the time the police arrived. Fortunately, she was able to defend herself and her kids. Even if she’d called 911 first instead of her husband, that would have been at least seven minutes she waited. If that were me and my family, I would be very thankful I had my gun.

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

I haven’t blogged about gun control, seeing as my husband does plenty of that at The H-Man. I grew up around firearms and hunting, but because my dad was an abusive person and my relationship with him was poor, I associated all of that with him. My husband began getting interested in guns a few years ago and I really struggled with it. I just associated them with good old boys and my father. Slowly, through keeping an open mind and watching some of the excellent shooting shows on TV, I began to respect the skills of marksmen and overcame my irrational feelings. I enjoy target shooting now and am thankful I know how to safely handle a gun and shoot.

Like I said, I am glad Melinda Herman was able to defend herself and I’m proud of her for using her skills to do so. There have been many cases where homeowners haven’t been able to do so, and terrible things have happened. With proper training, safe handling, and a plan, firearms can save your life.

June 29, 2012 derecho storm in Licking County Ohio

June 29, I headed home after doing a few errands. My husband called to tell me a pretty significant-looking storm system was moving through. I got home just as the skies began to darken. We live in south end of Newark, Ohio. Before long, this is what happened. This was shot looking north toward Heath, Ohio.

We’ve lived in our house since 1999 and this was by far the worst storm we’ve ever seen, including the one in 2008 when the remnants of Hurricane Ike came through Ohio. Here’s my first video of the aftermath, just in our home’s immediate vicinity:

The newspapers report the system as a derecho. Howie and I were unfamiliar with this term until we read about it regarding this storm. The Weather Channel online has good information about the phenomenon.

As of today, July 4, we are still without power in our neighborhood. AEP, Licking Rural Electric and the other area companies have been working around the clock clearing the substantial amount of debris, cutting down trees, and working on lines. The damage is just unreal. I’ll be posting more videos in the next day or two. I’m limited to working at places away from home since we don’t have service.

One resource that’s been a lifeline for me is Licking County Scannerheads. The Facebook group is very active, and members post helpful information there 24/7. When our T-Mobile service was down (four days – hello!) except for sporadic availability of SMS, it meant the world to be able to drive into a neighboring city who had power and get online to see what was happening locally, at neighborhood levels.

World’s Best Boss cake for Steve Carrell

Howie and I are huge fans of NBC’s The Office. Steve Carrell is a big part of that, so I’m really bummed to see him leave the show. Fortunately, the rest of the cast is terrific, so I hope it can keep the momentum. I really don’t want to see The Office jump the shark.

Rainn Wilson (a.k.a. the introspective and devious Dwight Schrute) posted this photo on Twitter. It’s the goodbye cake for Steve’s last day.

 Giant coffee cup cake, World's Best Boss

A sad day for NBC's The Office. Farewell, Steve!

Sigh. I wonder what will happen with Michael and Holly. They’re perfect for each other.

They remind Howie and me of our relationship!

Lot of King, Koontz, Straub, Grisham & more books for sale

We’ve did a nice round of de-cluttering in our house and ended up with many boxes of books. I have this box of assorted horror, medical thriller and legal thriller books for sale. Authors include Stephen King, Dean Koontz, John Grisham, Peter Straub, Robin Cook and Michael Crichton. I wish to sell this as one lot. All but three of the books are paperbacks. Click the thumbnails to enlarge to pictures. Click the links below to see details about book. Please note that the links are not necessarily the same paperback editions I have in this lot. With the exception of a few books, these are all in good condition or better. They’re reader copies, not collector’s items. 😉

Here’s a list of what you’ll receive in the box of bookish goodness:

Abduction (PB) – Robin Cook
A Case of Need (PB) – Michael Crichton
A Time to Kill (PB) – John Grisham
The Rainmaker (PB) – John Grisham
The Runaway Jury (HB)- John Grisham
The Street Lawyer (HB) – John Grisham
The Testament (PB) – John Grisham
False Memory (PB) – Dean Koontz
Odd Thomas – (PB, advance reading copy) – Dean Koontz
Forever Odd (PB) – Dean Koontz

Odd Thomas is such a great series, but there are only two books in this lot. You can see the whole Odd Thomas series here.

Icebound (PB) – Dean Koontz
Life Expectancy (PB, advance reading copy) – Dean Koontz
Sole Survivor (PB) – Dean Koontz
The Face (PB) – Dean Koontz
Bag of Bones (PB) – Stephen King
Black House (PB) – Stephen King & Peter Straub

Don’t have The Talisman, but you can get it at Amazon

Different Seasons (PB) – Stephen King
Firestarter (PB) – Stephen King
Four Past Midnight (PB) – Stephen King
Gerald’s Game (PB) – Stephen King
It (PB) – Stephen King
Misery (PB) – Stephen King
Nightmares & Dreamscapes (PB) – Stephen King
Pet Semetary (PB) – Stephen King
Skeleton Crew (PB) – Stephen King
The Dead Zone (PB) – Stephen King
The Drawing of the Three (PB) – Stephen King

Sorry, but I don’t have the rest of the Dark Tower Series. The rest I borrowed from my library.

The Green Mile (PB) – Stephen King
The Tommyknockers (PB) – Stephen King < Rough shape, but quite readable Lost Boy, Lost Girl (PB) – Peter Straub
Mystery (PB) – Peter Straub

Price for the whole lot of 31 books: $20. I will consider shipping them for actual shipping cost based on their total weight of 24lbs 4oz. That should be $13.50 including insurance. I accept PayPal.

Behind the scenes on How the Grinch Stole Christmas

I am a big fan of Chuck Jones’ work and How the Grinch Stole Christmas is my favorite TV fare at Christmastime. Here’s a special that aired on TNT in 1994, telling how this classic cartoon came together. Phil Hartman hosted it and various talents and directors are featured in it.

I made a playlist on YouTube so parts 1 & 2 can be played in succession. Also on that playlist is a special reading of Seuss’ original story, read by Walter Matthau. It is a treat!

Included on the special: Phil Hartman, Tim Burton, Danny Elfman, June Foray (voice of Cindy Lou Who), Audrey Geisel, Albert Hague (composer & lyricist), Chuck Jones, Boris Karloff, Thurl Ravenscroft (singer of You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch). It’s neat seeing behind the scenes stuff like this!

You’ll also want to check out the Chuck Jones site, Chuck Redux, where his grandson posts all kinds of things from his grandfather, including pencil sketches, photos, and letters from Chuck to his daughter. It’s a fascinating website.

WWII in HD and pictures of the American homefront

Howie and I recently watched the excellent documentary series WWII in HD on the History Channel. Aside from a few war movies, novels, and what little we covered in high school, I was quite ignorant of many battles and events of the war.

The majority of the footage the filmmakers used was original full color film. They told the story through the eyes of a dozen people who were there, so the viewer saw the unfolding events from the individuals’ points of view.

In addition to soldiers, they featured a journalist and an Army nurse. Using narratives from the peoples’ journals, letters, and other writing, the stories unfold. Some surviving participants were filmed as they recollected their experiences; the old footage was narrated by actors playing the young versions of the people. As a result, it was very easy to be drawn into the stories.

There is graphic footage of wounded and dead soldiers and civilians, so exercise caution if you’re squeamish. As sobering as it is to view such footage, it is an unvarnished, un-Hollywood opportunity to learn about World War II. It also made me incredibly thankful that we have not had war on home soil since. I can’t imagine living through that and my heart goes out to people who live in countries where war and terrorism is an everyday occurrence.

I ran across the following photo gallery from Life Magazine’s  website, their sole means of publishing since they ceased print publication. These photos of the American homefront during the war are fascinating to me.

You can view the gallery at Life’s website, too, along with hundreds of other photos from the era. I would like to hear from others who watched the WWII in HD documentary, especially those who lived through those war years. What was your everyday life like? What got you through?

Norah Jones sings to her dog

This new release from Norah Jones’ album, The Fall is great! Any dog lover should appreciate it, especially any single dog lovers. Here are the lyrics to her new song, Man Of The Hour:

Man of the Hour

It’s him and me
That’s what he said
But I can’t choose between a vegan and a pothead
So I chose you, because you’re sweet
And you give me lots of loving, and you’ll eat meat

And that’s how you became
My only man of the hour

You’ll never lie and you don’t cheat
And you don’t have anybody tied to your four feet
Do I deserve to be the one?
Who will feed you breakfast, lunch and dinner
And take you to the park at dawn?
Will you be my only man of the hour?

I know you’ll never bring me flowers
Flowers they’ll only die
And though we’ll never take a shower together
I know you’ll never make me cry
You’ll never argue, you don’t even talk
And I like the way you let me lead you
When we go outside and walk
Will you really be, my only man of the hour?
My only man of the hour
My only man of the hour

I love The Fall’s album cover, with the big St. Bernard!

You can listen to the song over at Amazon and, if you like it, buy it for under a buck. Ain’t technology grand?

An aside: Don’t you just love how we can pick and choose what songs we like now instead of having to buy an entire LP? Even when singles were released on CD, cassette or — dare I say it — 45RPM record (now I’m showing my age), you couldn’t always find that one particular song you wanted unless you sprung for the whole album. When I think of the hoops we used to jump through to make a mix tape of songs we liked, I am soooo thankful for the technology today.