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Saturday, 24 April 2010

The Sunday Roast

The Thoughts And Musings Of A Chap Called Skunkfeathers



After this famous little motif here is the man who leaves his commenting calling card.




This week's interview is with Mike
who writes the blog,
Skunkfeathers

Thank you for the interview, Mike

A very warm welcome to you and your followers



Here's the first of the standard questions. Why do you blog?

My 'knack' for writing was recognized well before I acknowledged it. In the mid 90s, through what can only be called a 'fluke', I began writing a weekly humor column for a small town newspaper in Colorado. In '99, a friend convinced me to start a web page, featuring my columns. When the paper changed hands and I was discontinued in December 2000, I was used to posting on the web page -- known as Out of (Cyber) Thin Air -- twice weekly, and kept it up for years. A writing friend -- a blogger herself since 2004 -- pestered me into starting a blog in June 2005. It became my hobby, and remains so to this day (I pulled the plug on my web page in March 2007). That's a quick "how I came to blog"; why I blog is, it is, as stated, a hobby. A fun, intellectual hobby. And it's brought me into contact with some incredibly talented, gifted people I have the honor to read and be read by. Every time I do a post that gets one smile or *guffaw*, is reason enough for me to continue.

What's the story behind your blog name?

When I first went online in 1995, my first email address was horsefeathers; since then, I've used cowfethers, moosefeathers, badgerfeathers, snowsnakefeathers, t_rexfeathers ... about the time I started my blog, I commissioned an artistic friend to draw me an icon for my new blog, Skunkfeathers. And that's the way it's been, ever since.

What is the best thing about being a blogger?

The people I've met online, the fabulous talents I've had the pleasure to read and exchange correspondence with, and befriend. And it allows me to share my off-the-wall brand of humor with a degree of comfort; it also allows me to combine my off-the-wall humor with something of a public service: unmasking/making fun of online email scammers, and posting my escapades with them for readers to enjoy (I've been an active scambaiter since 2000).

What key advice would you give to a newbie blogger?

Be wary of pet rocks that disassemble your TV remotes, and reassemble them AFTER watching an The Outer Limits marathon on the Sci-Fi Channel ... it'll get you interesting blogs, but mayhem on the home front.

What is the most significant blog post you've ever read?

That's a tough question to answer... and about the time I try, a more significant post by one of several quality bloggers I read will come along. The significance is, there never seems to be a 'ceiling' in the quality of bloggers.

What is the most significant blog post you've ever written?

Again, a tough one to answer. I think the one I wrote that meant the most to anyone -- besides some of the military history posts I've done -- was a tribute to a fellow blogger who is always going out of her way to help others; then she suffered a mild stroke (TIA), and I wrote a piece for her titled A Time To Give, A Time To Heal. This was back in '06 or early '07; she still reminds me that it's her favorite entry I've ever written.

If you were to suggest two blogs for roasting who would you pick, and why?

I don't know if these have been through the roast before but I have several in mind:

She of She Writes who is worthy of all the attention she gets.

Other wonderful blogs I would recommend are:
Sniffles And Smiles (Janine Abbott)
Baron It All (Frank Baron)
A Day In The Life of Me (Monica Newton)
Mayden's Voyage (Cora Blinsmon)

The why is simply the quality of the product these bloggers bring to their respective blogs. I'm never disappointed with a visit to any of their blogs, unless they haven't posted in a while.


(Thank you Mike for these fine recommendations - I will be writing to all these popular bloggers in due course)

That concludes the formal aspect of the interview but it would be nice to get to know you a little better while you are slowly turning on the roasting spit. So while you are screaming in agony above the open fire here are a few more questions for you.

Pick three things you can't live without (no you cannot have ice cubes to cool you down)

My sense of humor, my blog friends, and my storm chasing.

If we were to make a movie about blogland, what would it be and who would you cast in the leading roles?

Ah, a sore spot with me right now; my pet rock Seymour, keeps trying to write movie scripts he claims are first-run and one-of-a-kind; all of them appear to be knock-offs of classics, done in parody-style ("are NOT!"..that was Seymour in the background). So if a movie about blogland were going to be done, I'd leave it to Seymour...I'm comfortable that Steven Spielberg will never option the script ("will TOO!").

If you could live your life again who would you be, and why?

If I could live my life again, I'd live it as me. And hope to do it better. Being able to go back and do it again, retaining the wisdom and lessons I've learned/squandered up to now, would be a triple plus. At any rate, why would I want to be someone else, with my own glaring imperfections staring me in the mirror?

You have been given a wonderful talent from above. This causes you to make your mark on humanity and be world famous. In which area would prefer: a best selling novelist, a brilliant artist, a gifted musician, a fantastic singer, a charismatic leader, anything you choose, and why?

I'd settle, albeit reluctantly, for the best selling novelist. But with fame comes a price; I'm not sure it's a price my preference for a low-key lifestyle would reckon well with. But I'm not famous, so no worries ;-)

If you were an ice cream cone, which flavour would you prefer and who would you most want to lick you?

Oh horsefeathers, that's easy: chocolate. Women LOVE chocolate. 'Nuff said.

(Yet another fine answer - I've had several good ones lately LOL)

Describe in one sentence your perfect day

I write a blog entry that everyone who reads it, laughs aloud.

If you were a fictional writer which one would you be and why?

I'd be me...I don't see myself in the ranks of the top fiction writers of the day. I'd settle just to be me, and write something that people enjoy reading.

And finally if you have answered all these questions I invite you to ask me one in return - it's the least I can do. OK fire away!

Well, lemme see h'yar...*mulling*... okay ... if a sheep is a ram, and a donkey is an ass, why is a ram in the ass a goose?
*Jeopardy Theme Music*

Now ladies please shut your eyes while I answer Mike's question. Oh go on then, but I did warn you!
Because
he likes to ram his point home of course! Also he trys to solve riddles, is a bit sheepish, confuses geese with turkeys and requires the services of SpecSavers! There - understand it now?


Thanks for the opportunity, Eddie.

You are most welcome Mike and a popular choice. Thanks for the interview.


_____________________________________________________

Today's Sunday Roast with Skunkfeathers is the 113th in a weekly
series of interviews with bloggers from around the world. ________________________________________________

This interview will feature in The Roll of Honour
for all published Roasts. To view press
HERE
________________________________________________

Next week's roast is SueAnn at Slommler

Monday, 19 April 2010

Which Bright Spark Priced This?

Can you figure this?

These are Energy Saving electric light bulbs, sold at a store near Bristol.

I saw them a week ago but forgot my camera (a cardinal sin) so I made sure I took it with me today. The poster made no economic sense when I saw it last week and still it did not today.


I looked carefully at the notice, and again

I looked and looked and looked!

I thought, something has to be wrong with this! Do they mean three for 99p or 25p each? No, that does not make any sense! Or do they mean three for 75p or one for 99p. Again, nonsense! Try as I might I could not gain any logic whatsoever from this notice.

So I attracted the attention of a member of staff and asked him if there was some mistake. He laughed and said, "No Sir! It works like this. If you buy just ONE Energy Saving light bulb . . . . .


. . . . . . it will cost you 99 pence . . . . .

. . . . . . . but if you buy THREE Energy Saving light bulbs . . . . . .


. . . . you pay just 25 pence for the three."

I thought, "That's Marketing gone mad! How the 'ell can they afford to do this?"

I asked the store man this question who just shrugged his shoulders and said, "Dunno Gov, I'm only selling 'em - it's the bosses what decides the price!"

He continued the conversation by saying that earlier in the week a man bought a van load. I thought to myself, I wonder why? He's probably flogging them for 50 pence each at the local car boot sale and making over 500% Gross Profit! LOL

Again I wondered how the store could afford to do this and then I saw the light!!!

The store MUST be subsidised by the government as an energy saving project. Reading the literature I saw why because this type of bulb saves 80% energy and is supposed to last 10 years. The latter claim remains to be seen of course. However the bulbs are not suitable for dimmer switches which is a pity. I bought 6 bulbs for 50 pence which should see me out!! There is no way I will last 60 years even with a new hip LOL.

Astonishingly, another store person said someone came in recently and bought just ONE bulb for 99 pence!! I was . . . . astonished . . . . which leads me on to say . . . .

I bought another astonishing product called Astonish Bathroom Cleaner which we have found to be . . . . well . . . . astonishing! It cleans up the bath and tiles with . . . astonishing ease. I noted that the price per unit was exactly the same as a single unit light bulb . . . . 99 pence . . .


Astonishing!!

. . . . so I calculated, tongue in cheek, that they too might be 25 pence for three!!

"Err! No Sir! said the store man, "nice try but I am sorry they are 99 pence each and there is no incentive for bulk orders!"

Well the answer to my question was hardly astonishing but a guy has got to try and as you know I will do anything for a laugh!

But I got thinking again about the light bulbs. I am not greedy so I have decided to have a

Blogger Super Energy Light Bulb Sale Day

It's yer birthday! Come along ladies and gents .

Sale day! Sale day! Energy Saving light bulbs for sale . . . . only a limited stock left - bound to go fast, today . . . . get some while you can . . . offer never to be repeated!! Come on Madam, get your purse out! Blimey! Look at all those moths flying out!

And while you're at it ladies, nag the hubby and the kids to switch off those unused lights and save even more energy.

A switch left on is an unswitched switch! Which unswitched switch have you left unswitched?

"Eddie Bluelights' bright lights beam beautiful brilliant blazing brightness - BUY! BUY! BUY!."

Come on then! orders please and don't tell me to BOGOF!

I’m not going to charge you 99 pence a bulb, or 89 pence or even 79 pence!
The sun is shining, the wife cooked me a nice breakfast and I feel really generous!
Come on ladies and gents! Forget 78 pence! Forget 77 pence and forget 76 pence!
To clear the lot today I don’t want 75 pence or 74 pence or 73 or 72.

Who will give me 60 pence? You madam? Forget it! Forget 55 pence!

(Bang Table) First four here . . . . . just 50 pence!
OK! You’ve twisted my arm . . . it's open to everyone! Come and get them for 49 pence.”

MAD STAMPEDE

Think I'll try flogging them at our local Car Boot Sale!


After all that I think I need to sit down!

Saturday, 17 April 2010

The Sunday Roast

Not Just A Majority Of Two But Definitely A Land Slide For Johanna

(Watch the birdie)


This week's interview is with Johanna
who writes the blog,
A Majority Of Two .



Johanna's blog was chosen as a Blog of Note on Friday, January 9, 2009, by the Blogger Team. I'm sure all will agree with me when I say, "Congratulations".


Johanna prefers to be called Jo and she lives in Vancouver, Canada, where the recent Winter Olympics were hosted - and very enjoyable too.

Thank you for the interview, Jo


A very warm welcome to you and your followers who I hope come in large numbers to see you roasting on my spit - ha ha!





Here's the first of the standard questions. Why do you blog?

I have always wanted to be a journalist or a columnist for a newspaper, so my blog is sort of a slice-of-life editorial on current events, politics, art, movies, philosophy, just about anything that is au current.

What's the story behind your blog name?

I once read a quote that I liked, as follows:

There are times and places where one's voice needs to be heard above the clamor of others who may think differently or wish to go in a different direction. The need to raise one's 'voice' is not a call to shout or to shout down others, but to preserve one's integrity of belief and feeling so that one can become a 'majority of one'.

That described how I wanted my blog to “sound” or “be heard” as it were. I changed my blog name to A Majority of Two, because two reflects the conversation that I hoped would be exchanged with at least one other person who might visit my blog.

What is the best thing about being a blogger?

Having the opportunity and the forum to write about my ideas, likes, dislikes, opinions, etc., and perhaps find people with which to converse about these things. We are all different, but occasionally we find people who are like us.

What key advice would you give to a newbie blogger?

Keep your own voice. Don’t imitate other blogs or bloggers. I see so many blogs that start to morph into each other, so that reading one is like reading another. And don’t be fooled by people who are giving away “awards”. The sole purpose is to drive traffic to their own blogs. Let your blog be organic and speak for itself, and it will find its own voice. You will never really know if you have a good blog if you get caught up in the “tricks” of blogging and getting comments. The number of comments you get is not a good indicator of whether or not you have a good blog.

(I agree with your entirely, Johanna - I've seen some super blogs with few comments and not so good ones with loads of comments)

What is the most significant blog post you've ever read?

That would be very difficult to pinpoint, since I have been blogging for four years, and there have been so many wonderful, significant blog posts. Many of them touch my heart for many reasons. I think one of the most significant posts I read was about a woman who had been estranged from her son, and then she found out that he had passed away. The way she wrote about the anguish she felt was worthy of a Pulitzer Prize, in my estimation.

(I wonder what that post was! Has anyone any ideas? We had a successful post hunt a couple of weeks ago and some really good detective work actually revealed it to us!)

What is the most significant blog post you've ever written?

It is a true story. It is my “Pope story” called Extra-Sensory Perception.

(Oh! Johanna you are too modest - there must be many more to list as well. But congratulaions on being the first roastee being able to count to one!)

If you were to suggest two blogs for roasting who would you pick, and why?

I have found a few new blogs recently, that are well-written. One is Everyday People penned by a wonderful writer named Susan Barnett:

And the other is In My Humble Opinion by another wonderful writer named Paula Slade.

The world should discover both of these blogs.

(Again, I agree with you, Jo. I've visited Susan's blog and am very impressed with her superb writing style. I am looking forward to visiting Paula. You and I have 'spoken' at length about the wealth of undiscovered talent out there and the difficulties of them gaining a much wider audience - anyone got any ideas?)

That concludes the formal aspect of the interview but it would be nice to get to know you a little better while you are slowly turning on the roasting spit. So while you are screaming in agony above the open fire here are a few more questions for you.

Pick three things you can't live without (no you cannot have ice cubes to cool you down)

My books, my Halston cologne, and my friends (does that count as one thing?)

If we were to make a movie about blogland, what would it be and who would you cast in the leading roles?

If I were to do a movie about blogland, first of all I would search blogland for some brand new talented actors and actresses - they are out there in the wings, just waiting to be discovered. Some of the new blogs I come across are fresh, exciting – new! So, having found some new stars/starlets I would present a brand new movie about blogland. I would always welcome some new blood wherever possible.

If you could live your life again who would you be, and why?

Queen Elizabeth the Second because she has reigned through some of the most recent historical periods of time in our history, and she met some of the most amazing, influential people of the 20th and 21st Centuries. She is extremely intelligent and politically savvy, and much more accomplished than people realize. She also lives in palaces. *heh*

(Ok, Jo - you can be Elizabeth II and I will be a distant ancestor, Henry VIII because that too was an interesting time, albeit a bit bloodthirsty. Yet he was rather unhappy wasn't he? What am I saying? Six wives!!! I must be nuts! One is more than enough and I can't even behead her! LOL)

You have been given a wonderful talent from above. This causes you to make your mark on humanity and be world famous. In which area would prefer: a best selling novelist, a brilliant artist, a gifted musician, a fantastic singer, a charismatic leader, anything you choose, and why?

I would be a brilliant artist. I love art, I love the way it makes me feel when I look at it. Every artist has the power to invoke a different feeling; Picasso is different from Van Gogh, Rembrandt is different from Pollock. Each touches a different chord within us. I would love to have the power to do that.

If you were an ice cream cone, which flavour would you prefer and who would you most want to lick you?

I would like to be a peppermint candy ice cream cone, with bits of peppermint candy, and as to whom I would like to be licked by – well, I never “kiss and tell”. LOL.

(Now considering the silliness of the question I reckon that is about the most intelligent reply so far! LOL. I'll leave it in I think after all - thanks Jo)

Describe in one sentence your perfect day.

The sun is shining and my sailboat is waiting in the harbour.

If you were a fictional writer which one would you be and why?

John Steinbeck, because he wrote the best books, the best characters, and the best plot lines of any writer.

And finally if you have answered all these questions I invite you to ask me one in return - it's the least I can do. OK fire away!

How are you feeling now that you have become the bionic man?

My short answer would be, "Like six million dollars!" LOL

But people who know me know also I do find it difficult to give short answers because I am blessed (or cursed) with verbal diarrhoea! I am feeling very well but extremely disappointed that inflation has taken it's toll on the rebuilding programme since the 1970s. In short the rebuild I experienced was a joke - I got far less for the $6M spend than Steve Austin did and I am furious! I got only one bionic hip which is impossible to use to its full potential because they could not afford to do the other! Further, they would not provide my bionic legs or arms or even the nuclear reactor OR the x-ray eye. They simply said, "That's your lot, mate, you've had your six million dollars worth! Bye! Next!"


That was fun - thanks for appearing on the show, Jo.
(I'm a poet, and I don't know it!)

And finally, a peep at your blog.

(Very Nice -love the artwork which I presume is yours)

________________________________________________

Today's Sunday Roast with Johanna is the 112th in a weekly
series of interviews with bloggers from around the world. ________________________________________________

This interview will feature in The Roll of Honour
for all published Roasts. To view press
HERE
________________________________________________

Hold your noses folks! LOL
Next Week it's Mike at Skunkfeathers

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Why Is Eddie, The First Bionic Man, Taking Rat Poison?

We Can Rebuild Him



I can just hear you all saying. "Where has Eddie been?" "What's he been up to?" "Is he up to his old tricks?" "Has he started doing new tricks?" Well folks I have been very busy and not blogging much except for a spurt last week. But I have been cooking and serving roasts for you every week and there are some great ones in the oven - so please tune in, regularly.

But, resuming the subject of my hip and operation I can still hear the words ringing through my ears as I lay just alive in the operating theatre.

"Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology. We have the capability to make the first Bionic Man. Eddie will be that man! We will make him better than he was before! Better! Stronger! Faster!"

They must have been joking!!! For a start they forgot my X-Ray eye and my electronic circuitry. I have not yet felt anywhere near six million dollars at any stage since they gave my 'bionic' hip LOL. I shall not tell you what else they replaced! All that seems to have come true is the slow motion sequences. These are real to me but it would be easier for me to Riverdance than to try the quick stuff yet.

However, I am speeding up and I am overjoyed to convey that I am no longer overtaken whilst walking by a little old lady with a walking stick, as I was to my extreme embarrassment on my first maiden voyage when using two sticks. That was a month ago and since then I have thrown one of the sticks away and carry the other just in case. I have looked out for that individual so we can have a decisive 'burn up' along a fast straight section of pavement. She has not shown up as yet for the re-match.

Before I proceed further in my narrative concerning my latest hip news I must say for those who do not like hospital things like ER, Casualty and Holby City, there is an alternative read and view on my second highly extrovert blog, Plato's Procrastinations, where I treat the world to three YouTube classics of a great British comedian, Dick Emery, little know in America and who sadly died in 1983. He pulled in 17 million viewers a week with his fabulous show with the inspired name, The Dick Emery Show (aren't I sarcastic?). I could do with some of his 17 million viewers to boost my flagging comments of late but alas I think a lot of these will have died as well (Dick's viewers and not my readers - hey wait a minute that could explain it!). So, my friends, particularly from across the pond - please tune in to Dick Emery by pressing HERE.

Oh! you might as well finish this first because I know you are hooked as to why Eddie the Bionic Man is taking rat poison, but when you do watch Dick Emery make sure you visit the bathroom first. So far we have one person admitting she has seen it but not admitting she laughed so hard she wet her pants! I know for a fact that another American lady has secretly visited it several times and she does just what I used to do in the cinema - watched it over and over again. Her husband must wonder why she never gets his tea ready and why she laughs so much at her lap top!!

(I will not say any more about my suspicions that maybe one person I know outside blogging might be pleased I am taking rat poison, but I think if they really thought hard they would know for certain I am not rat and I mean no harm to any one, nor have I ever done.)

Well it was my five week check up at the hospital. I was a little concerned that my left calf was swollen and very hard causing some discomfort. I knew I was not putting my feet up as much as I should which might be a contributory factor, but I suspected there was more to it than that. The fracture and orthopedic team were very pleased with my overall condition and mobility (nearly typed in nobility LOL) and they said I could now drive and have a shower and do this and do that - all huge strides for me in the improvement sphere. (In fact the only thing I cannot do myself now is put on my left sock - and of course attend to my toe nails etc.

Then they saw the lower leg and I saw the concern on their faces. They suspected Deep Vein Thrombosis and referred me to Ambulatory Care who arranged a scan. The main fear of course was the possibility of developing a pulmonary embolism as a consequence of Deep Vein Thrombosis which is quite common after leg surgery.

So to the scanning department I walked and on the way I popped into the hospital ward where I had stayed for three days. I saw Ed the physio man and a few nurses and I thanked them very much for looking after me. They we quite touched and said hardly anyone does that.

It was a very painful experience when they pressed the sensor hard into my groin, following the main left leg vein right down to my heel. They found a 3cm blood clot near the top of my leg which must have caused some restriction. They would not let me walk and I had to be wheeled back from the Vascular Studies Center who did the scan back to Ambulatory Care and a very friendly and likeable nursing sister waved me into the side ward in front of everyone in the queue and invited me to be seated in a very comfortable chair - I must have had my VIP vest on or something.

Anyway we got on like house on fire and she asked me how heavy I was and I told her, "Too heavy, 16 stones (224 lbs). Just fancy that I am exactly one tenth of a ton. Poor hips - both natural and artificial. The sister gave me the largest DVT pack which contained 150 mg syringes of heparin plus Warfarin (rat poison LOL). Both drugs are both designed to thin the blood and disperse blood clots. She showed me how to administer the heparin injections myself and got me to fold my surplus fat around my stomach (which we Brits call our spare tyre, always thought mine would come in useful one day) and she directed the point with us both holding the syringe into me. In jest I pointed out she had stabbed me!! She must have been particularly blood thirsty because to this day after all self administered 15 injections this alone is still bruised the most.

She said was quite confident I could manage the injections myself and she then asked me if I would be prepared to have a stomach/abdominal examination for a student nurse with her presiding to which I agreed. During the examination I was asked what the scars were around my abdomen to which I replied when I was three I had a double hernia and in my teens I had both my appendix's removed (yest I had two!) I said if I had another cut my stomach would fall out - this caused some amusement. Anyway I was pronounced a very fit man LOL. They both must require the services of SpecSavers!!

It has been almost 4 weeks since I started the DVT treatment and the swelling has gone down a lot, I do not have to inject myself any more because after a series of blood tests at my GP's they say the Warfarin alone is sufficient to do the job. The risk of a pulmonary embolism has diminished significantly and in a way I am pleased I am having this treatment because if there was any other trouble brewing undetected it will be dealt with as well.

As far as my mobility is concerned I am making very steady progress with a few dips along the way. I can walk about half a mile without using any stick (I carry one with me just in case). I can drive (for the last 3 weeks) an I can shower. I continue with my physio therapy exercises before I go out walking. I think my leg is aligned slightly differently because my balance on my left leg is different, making it a little more difficult to walk in a straight line - no doubt people may think I am a little drunk LOL. Also I think there was some muscle wastage through the weeks of inactivity but I am working hard to exercise and get my walking right. All this is very encouraging because it is just over 8 weeks since I had my operation and I have come a long way.

As for activities - I have cleaned our cars twice, mowed the lawn, done a little digging in the garden. I can now vacuum the house because I can support my weight on my new hip leg quite painlessly usually. I do get bad days though, as far as pain around the hip is concerned when I put weight on it - perhaps after doing too much the previous day.

Oh and now you know I am a bionic man thank you for all your ideas for my well being and your desires to see my name in lights. Someone suggested I used a motorised zimmer frame so I can overtake old ladies with walking sticks. One person is looking forward to seeing me in the next Olympic Games either Pole Vaulting or Triple Jumping (either brings tears to my eyes). Another was disappointed they did not see my in the Vancouver Winter Olympics ice skating with tripple toe loops and tripple axels (ouch!). Another wants me to jump over tall buildings like spider man.
Well it's been a long post today so I will spare you the video of the operation which I will show next time.

Oh and if you wish to see the Dick Emery clips here is the address again - press HERE. They're a riot.

Saturday, 10 April 2010

The Sunday Roast

Does this Expat Mum Sometimes Duel With Her Dual Nationalities?

No doubt we shall find out during the course of the interview, talking of which I note Toni has had a radio interview recently on BBC World Service, "Have Your Say."



This week I am pleased to introduce blogger Expat Mum,
also known as author Toni Summers Hargis.




. . . and yes, Tony indeed has Dual Nationality, currently living in Chicago, USA

Thank you for the interview, Toni

A very warm welcome to you and your followers


Here's the first of the standard questions. Why do you blog?

Why do you blog? - I have to admit, I started blogging because I'm selling a book; however, as anyone who reads my blog will know, I hardly ever mention it and blog about anything and everything. The blog Pond Parleys , which I co-host with author Mike Harling, is more US/UK based and makes more of the "author" thing. These days I blog because I love to write and the communication with my bloggy friends is fabulous. When I was little my dad called me "Mouth Almighty" and I'm not known for being shy - the blog is a great outlet!!!

What's the story behind your blog name?

It's a bit boring really but it's me. With three kids of varying ages, my life is very busy and I'm also an Expat. There's something about being a stranger in a strange land that gives rise to interesting stories and introspections, which in turn is good blog fodder. And of course the kids are ever present.

What is the best thing about being a blogger?

The chance to write frequently for no reason. Sometimes I post without much editing, and sometimes I try to write a really good piece - depends how much time I have. Also, the connection with readers and fellow bloggers. There is some really great writing out there and I love to read it.

What key advice would you give to a newbie blogger?

Apart from "get out there and comment", I'm a terrible blogger. I have never made the time to really learn the technology so any new blogger would be better served elsewhere. Also - you unless you're trying to make a living, you don't really need to blog every day although once a week loses you commenters. Keep it under control - it's easy to get sucked in!

What is the most significant blog post you've ever read?

I'm going to have to disappoint and say there isn't just one. I have read the most touching, joyous and dramatic posts which have touched my heart, made me cry and made me realise at times, how lucky I am. In contrast, I have a very stable life (jinxed) and I am thankful for that.

What is the most significant blog post you've ever written?

Most of my pieces are deliberately funny and not meant to twang at your heart strings. I'm not comfortable with putting my emotions out there unless it's annoyance at stinky people who wear pyjamas to go shopping, which I did recently. However, I lost a great friend in December and felt compelled to sing her praises. She was the first friend I ever made in the States, over 20 years ago, and fought a long, courageous battle against brain cancer. For me, that was a significant blog to write because it was really "me" - raw emotion and all.

If you were to suggest two blogs for roasting who would you pick, and why?

There are so many great ones I find it very difficult to single out just a few and I am sure you wouldn't want me to list them all. I have met a lot of talent in blogland.

That concludes the formal aspect of the interview but it would be nice to get to know you a little better while you are slowly turning on the roasting spit. So while you are screaming in agony above the open fire here are a few more questions for you.

Pick three things you can't live without (no you cannot have ice cubes to cool you down)

Decent tea, Pinot Grigio and warm snow boots (at the moment).

If we were to make a movie about blogland, what would it be and who would you cast in the leading roles?

I'm afraid I just don't have the creativity to do the movie thing. I know I"m supposed to be a writer but I'm really bad at fiction!

That's OK - a lot of bloggers have the same problem- it's only weirdos like me, Suldog and Knucklehead who seem to revel in such things, so you have two penalty questions instead if you want to ask me that question LOL.

If you could live your life again who would you be, and why?

I would come back as me and stand up for myself a bit more as a child, tell all those prat boyfriends just where to go and generally make a few better decisions. Not that I'd want to end up in a different place necessarily, but I'd love to go back to my early years with my 40+ year old head on!!!

Yes, wouldn't we all just love to have a chance to have an older head on our much younger shoulders and have a body which seems to be immortal? How many times have I said, "If only I could return, knowing what I know now!"

You have been given a wonderful talent from above. This causes you to make your mark on humanity and be world famous. In which area would prefer: a best selling novelist, a brilliant artist, a gifted musician, a fantastic singer, a charismatic leader, anything you choose, and why?

I'm a wannabe rock star so I would have to do something like Bono, where you get to perform at the highest level in front of adoring fans, then turn around and have world leaders listen to you so that you could make a difference to people who need your help!

If you were an ice cream cone, which flavour would you prefer and who would you most want to lick you?

Would have to have a coffee element but not over-powering. I would have my three kids (try to) lick me but they wouldn't even get close as I"m too ticklish and would have to smack them away!

Describe in one sentence your perfect day.

Warm weather, sandy beach, nothing to do.

Why Toni, I had no idea you were so lazy! Well why not, bring on the summer.

If you were a fictional writer which one would you be and why?

There's a woman over here called Laurie Notaro, who writes about her life but embellishes it. A lot like a blogger but she's been doing this a long time and is absolutely hilarious.

And finally if you have answered all these questions I invite you to ask me one in return - it's the least I can do. OK fire away!

What's the first thing you want to do with your new hip?

Well, we're a little late for the Canadian Winter Olympics with all those tripple axels and toe loops so maybe I'd better settle for learning to Irish Tap Dance or . . . . . . to Riverdance (ouch!). I've done silly a post on it HERE. But sensibly after 8 weeks this very day after my operation I am almost ready to throw my second stick way. I can drive again , I feel much stromger and have almost got my life back - so I am happy, knowing I will improve steadily from now on.

Thank you Toni for your interview

You mentioned you have written and published a book and I thought I'd complete your roast by giving this a little feature because I know readers on both sides of the pond will be interested. I note from the cover it is raining yet again here in England - that is entirely true as I look out of the window.


The full title is "Rules Britannia; An Insider's Guide to Life in the United Kingdom" by our very own ExPat Mum, alias Toni Summers Hargis. This is a book for Americans moving to or visiting the UK. Although we speak the same language our phrases and cultures sometimes are slightly different. I for one, if I was American, would need a book like this to prevent any possibility of me saying the wrong thing to those touchy, over sensitive, reserved and over-conservative Brits, thus risking me getting my face slapped or my nose punched LOL. Toni has a website Rules Britannia which explains all about the book and how to obtain a copy. I've read some sample pages on Amazon and they full of very interesting stuff. So if anyone from across the pond wants to visit me - get the book first, just in case! LOL



________________________________________________

Today's Sunday Roast with Expat Mum is the 111th in a weekly
series of interviews with bloggers from around the world. ________________________________________________

This interview will feature in The Roll of Honour
for all published Roasts. To view press
HERE
________________________________________________

Next week, A Canadian lady, Johanna of A Majority Of Two

Saturday, 3 April 2010

The Sunday Roast

Is This Lady Really Eternally Distracted Or Is It a 'Blogment' Of Her Imagination?


This week's interview is with an Anonymous Lady
who writes the blog, Eternally Distracted .

Thank you for the interview

A very warm welcome to you and your followers



Here's the first of the standard questions. Why do you blog?

I first discovered blogs in March 09 and spent three months stalking bloggers worldwide. I mean really stalking… ‘call the police because I need to know what you had for breakfast’ kind of stalking. I jumped on the bandwagon in June (maybe because I had a particularly nice breakfast and thought others might be interested) and have been hurtling along ever since. I have a fantastic partner, amazing friends and family but sadly most are a sandwich short of a picnic. I laugh at them often and felt it only fair to share. Last but not least I am still looking for my first stalker.

What's the story behind your blog name?

In three words - Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
I can’t sit still.My attention span is zero. I can’t concentrate if my clothes are not ironed. My CD’s are in alphabetical order. I love straight lines. I AM Eternally Distracted.

What is the best thing about being a blogger?

I can share stupidity and my need to see the fun in life. If my friends and family complain about me making fun of them I can show them all of your comments and make them believe they are superstars. Mostly I love reading other people’s stories – blogging fulfills my need to be nosey.

What key advice would you give to a newbie blogger?

I am a newbie blogger! I have no idea what I am doing but I love doing it – Blogging is a little like life, you get back what you put in. First and foremost – Have fun.

What is the most significant blog post you've ever read?

I have read blogs that have made me pee my pants with laughter, ones that have made me cry and ones that I have thought about for days after reading them. The most significant ones I read are the ‘real’ ones, the raw posts. The kind of posts that I read knowing that someone is baring their soul. I read one recently about a woman’s view of living with her husband who has alzheimer’s, it was so honest and gave me an amazing insight into the struggle of slowly losing someone you love. I have searched all over and cannot find that post to link it – please feel free to add the link if you too have read it.

Obviously the lady was distracted again!! LOL I have also searched, together with some bloggy friends, but so far this remains elusive. Anyone any ideas?

Ah! success - the mystery is solved after a comment was received. Thank you to Secret Agent Woman who has done an admirable piece of detective work living up to your blog name - you deserve a star. The sad post about a lady living with her husband with Alzheimer’s Disease is called Living With Lewis at the blog Guilty With An Explanation. I am just off to have a read myself.

What is the most significant blog post you've ever written?

A Moment Of Reflection is the one that I received the most feedback for although it is not the kind of post that I would normally write. I tend to keep my ‘pedestal’ moments for people like this 'bumbling idiot' of a man I'd Like To See Things From Your Point Of View But . . .
I decided at the beginning that I would not write a blog full of moans and complaints – The one that I love the most is My Little Greek Disaster because it pretty much sums up my reason for blogging.

If you were to suggest two blogs for roasting who would you pick, and why?

Definately Bernie at her blog On My Own because she is one of the sweetest people in bloggyland and despite my occasional use of foul language she still writes lovely comments on all my posts. Another choice must be TechnoBabe because she comments on most of my posts and hopefully sending some more traffic her way will be a good way to say thanks.

Thanks for your recommendations - I will approach both ladies to invite them on the show.

That concludes the formal aspect of the interview but it would be nice to get to know you a little better while you are slowly turning on the roasting spit. So while you are screaming in agony above the open fire here are a few more questions for you.

Pick three things you can't live without (no you cannot have ice cubes to cool you down)

It is impossible for someone as distracted as me to answer this question…erm…I have thought and rethought and now I have a list of forty four…and now fifty…and now I need to move on in case my head explodes.

If we were to make a movie about blogland, what would it be and who would you cast in the leading roles?

I am stuck with this one!

(Obviously too many distractions! LOL - OK I've got two penalty questions for you!)

If you could live your life again who would you be, and why?

Mary Poppins in the morning so that I could snap my fingers and get everything done. After hopping into a few paintings and going to the fairground I could nip round my friend’s house and laugh until we floated on the ceiling.In the afternoon I would want to be Phoebe Buffet. I could go to the coffee shop, sing Smelly Cat and be totally undisturbed by anyone or anything. In the evening I want to be Dawn French because she epitomizes the three F’s - Funny, Fat and Fabulous. I understand it’s impossible to be three people, please understand my eternal distraction…

You have been given a wonderful talent from above. This causes you to make your mark on humanity and be world famous. In which area would prefer: a best selling novelist, a brilliant artist, a gifted musician, a fantastic singer, a charismatic leader, anything you choose, and why?

I just want to be P!nk. That’s all I ask…I want to BE her. I have been to concerts and drooled with the rest of them, I want me some drooling action thank you very much.

If you were an ice cream cone, which flavour would you prefer and who would you most want to lick you?

LOL Pink and P!nk. Pretty please….

Describe in one sentence your perfect day.

Summer, sunshine, smiles, showers, serendipity, shenanigans, silliness, supercalifragilisticexpialidociousness and sex ;0)

If you were a fictional writer which one would you be and why?

JK Rowling because she is very rich and I could buy a feathered boyfriend for our pet parrot Max.

And finally if you have answered all these questions I invite you to ask me one in return - it's the least I can do. OK fire away!

If love is blind, why is lingerie so popular?


After that question I too am Eternally Distracted!!! Well if you must know it's what you can't quite see that's er . . . . . um! So I am told of course! LOL Enough said.

Thank you very much, Eternally, for appearing on the show - don't get too distracted! LOL



__________________________________________________

Today's Sunday Roast with Eternally Distracted is the 110th in a
weekly series of interviews with bloggers from around the world
_________________________________________________

This interview will feature in The Roll of Honour
for all published Roasts. To view press HERE
________________________________________________

Next week's roast is a 'broad' from abroard, known much better as ExPat Mum

Friday, 2 April 2010

GOOD FRIDAY MESSAGE


This superb drawing of Jesus hangs in our bedroom. It is Our Lord, beaten so cruelly by soldiers after experiencing several unjust trials and then mocked and ridiculed before finally giving his life for us at his crucifixion.

A fairy tale? - some may wonder? I do not think so . . . . in fact I am certain, not so.

Earlier, in the Garden Of Gethsemane, when the tension of the situation was so great, he sweat great drops of blood from his forehead. In his humanity he knew the ordeals he would have to go through for the will of his father - not just the physical pain but also he knew he had to withstand the coming great spiritual battle.

Not only did he have so bear excrusiating physical pain on the cross but also he, the sinless sacrificial lamb without spot or blemish, would be burdened with the sins of the entire world; past, present and future. Not only this but he would also be subjected to the opposing total might of all the demonic forces of darkness, desperately trying to stop him, as they had strived to do throughout history.

In his divinity he had agreed long ago with the two other members of the Godhead that he would gladly do this for us to give us all a chance of Salvation.

However, the real almost unbearable pain for him was another spiritual one which many do not consider.

When he said, "My God, my God why hast thou forsaken me?" people often wonder why he said, "My God" twice.

The answer is that at this dreaded hour when the sins of the world were put on his shoulders two members of the Godhead; God the Father and God the Holy Spirit, and remember Jesus was the third member of the Trinity as God the Son, turned their backs on him for the first time from within eternity.  They had to do so because from that moment until his death he lost his absolute righteousness due to our sins and God the Father and God the Holy Spirit had to turn away from him. Jesus had never throughout all eternity been separated from them like this and it was almost too much to bear.  The pain and the spiritual warfare he could stand but this separation is what broke his heart.

At this point when Jesus was nearing the end of his battle and at the ninth hour, total darkness covered the whole world - everywhere!! God would not allow anyone to see his son when the sins of the whole world were on his shoulders on that cross - the time when he exchanged his righteousness for our sins.

This total darkness is a proven fact in secular history - there was indeed absolute darkness on the entire planet for three hours, an event which coincided with a switch on the cross between good and evil.

The darkness was universal - just as it will be just before he comes again at Second Advent. Then when he comes the whole universe will be filled with light and he really will be the light of the entire world - and we shall be with him.

No-one took his life from him - he gave it willingly as the ultimate sinless sacrifice. He could have come down from that cross any time he wanted and summoned legions of angels to help him but knew he had a job to do and chose to go through with it; for that is the reason he came into the world - for us!  Aren't we utterly blessed?

The frightened disciples did not know any of this - they were totally devastated and to them their world had come to an abrupt end until they came to know the real and full meaning of the Easter message.

When all his work was done and every single prophesy had been fulfilled Jesus chose to die and with a loud voice said, "It is finished".

A Roman soldier witnessing said, "Surely this man is the son of God". Why? - because he had seen countless men hanging on crosses in agony wanting to die but not able to so and lasting for days. Yet he recognised Jesus actually had the power to end his own life quickly which no man in the soldier's experience had been able to do until now - the others could not do so with both hands tied and in that position on the cross - utterly impossible, so they had to wait for days to die.

The robber, who chose to believe him, must have been given tremendous hope when he heard Jesus say to him with authority, "Today, you will be with me in paradise!"

Personally I am very grateful Jesus did this for us and I thank him for it more than words can say.

This drawing of 1941 originates from World War Two in Egypt. A Polish soldier drew it for my wife's father, also a Polish soldier fighting for The Allies, and he brought it back with him safely to England through all the big battles, including Tobruk and El Alamein.