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Archive for May, 2010

Military Holidays and their origins

Happy Memorial day everyone!  It’s time for my annual post to clarify the purpose behind memorial day.  As retired military, I find it my duty to make sure everyone understand’s it’s purpose, and not get it mixed up with other holidays. 

I love when local businesses offer special discounts to military and retirees on Memorial Day, but at the same time, I feel guilty.  Memorial Day is not about me.  Instead, it’s about the thousand (or thousand and seven, according to another report).

There are three major military events marked on our calendars.  There’s Armed Forces Day, Memorial day and Veteran’s day. 

Armed Forces day slipped past, quietly uncelebrated, on May 15.    This holiday is designed to remember all those who are serving in the US Military.  So for all those who missed their Armed Forces day thank you – THANK YOU.  Your sacrifice is not forgotten by everyone.

Veteran’s day.  Originally replacing Armistice day on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th Month.  This is the day designed to commemorate all those who have served in the Armed forces in the past.  In other words, The veterans.  I’ma  veteran.  And on the days the stores offer specials to veterans to say thank you – there is no guilt.  I run to those stores and take advantage, and offer those stores my business at other times as well.  If you appreciate your freedom, Thank a Vet.

Memorial Day.  The oldest and most well known of all three military holidays, created after the civil war.  It is the day we honor our fallen, the ones who didn’t come back to hug and kiss their families. 

Someone once told me in England they try to forget their military dead, because well, they’re dead, and that means they didn’t survive the war, which means they aren’t heroes. 

I disagree.  It doesn’t matter how these men and women died.  Whether they did so crying in pain, or never saw it coming.  What matters is they were there, providing a shield between Americans, and whatever threatens us.  They gave their lives so we could continue on our own chosen path.  They gave us freedom and they gave us our lives. 

So this year, we have new honored dead to remember.  Those who have died in this long and bloody war against terror.  Whether you believe in the war or not, these people still deserve their just dues.  So today, just before you light the grill and have fun at your picnics, give every member of your family a hug, and remember that someone gave their lives for this moment.  And, Take a moment to review the casualties list of soldiers, airmen and sailors who have lost their lives in the current war.  List of Casualties for Afghanistan.  I couldn’t find a list of those who lost their lives in Iraq, but they too should be remembered.

So raise your American Flag on this greatest of American holidays.  Not for the Veterans.  Not for the Active Duty, but to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.  Their lives. 

May they rest in peace.

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From the Land of the Wolf

I just couldn’t resist posting this awesome video for those of us who are true wolf lovers.  This video was put together by a young girl in Europe.  I think you may recognize her work, from what she did for Tigress By The Tail.

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OMG I’m fired! (A rant)

Ok, not really. I’m not the one fired. But there are people out there getting fired for what they put on twitter and facebook and even myspace. There are also people out there who are getting their homes broken into by people who are on their “Friends’” lists.

Why?  Because they are announcing their woes, good, bad and ugly, to the entire world.

Yes. To the World.

I remember a time when preparing for a vacation included such things as stopping mail service and stopping the newspaper, so each didn’t pile up. I remember a time when you put an automatic light switch on one of your lights in your home, so when you were out of town, the whole neighborhood didn’t know. You then locked your doors and begged your neighbors to keep an eye on your home and report any suspicious behavior.

Enter 2010, where we stop our mail and don’t know what a newspaper is. We may have that automatic light switch, but it doesn’t do any good because before going on vacation, we plastered all over twitter and facebook:

“I’m going to Disney!”

Ok, I’m saying Disney because I’ll be heading there soon. But luckily I can say that, because my home will not be empty. See, I’m leaving hubby behind.

But if I wasn’t, I would be more careful of what I post online.

Last month I read an article about a woman who posted on facebook how she was going to a concert of some kind, with a friend. When she got home, her home had been robbed. Interestingly, she’d had the forethought to set up a video camera inside her home. Who does that, I ask you? But either way, the burglars were caught on tape, and later found to be friends from her “Friends list” on Facebook.

Yesterday I read an article about a young woman who worked at a pizza joint. She had a bad day. We all have them from time to time. On her facebook, prominent for all to see, was the name of the pizza joint where she worked. She then went online and bashed a certain customer who had irritated her. She didn’t mention the names, but it didn’t matter. What mattered was the rant was posted in close proximity to the name of the business in question.

Should she be fired? 51% of respondents said NO.

I say YES.

The same can be said for the authors, agents, editors, etc, who badmouth without thinking. We all do it with our friends. “Did you hear what Joe Blow did to me?” It’s so danged easy to do. We are raised in such an insular manner, if you don’t personally know Joe Blow, it’s very easy to badmouth him. Joe could be a perfectly nice man, but he didn’t like my book. Therefore he’s just plain evil. Look at this horrid review. Or, Joe Blow hated my manuscript and therefore he must be a jerk. Did you see what that author did? She wrote the most horrible thing in the world!

See how easy it is?

Funny thing is, that’s not a big deal. What’s a big deal is when we do it on a public forum. I keep hearing complaints how Facebook is violating our privacy, letting our bosses see our posts, sharing information with people we don’t know. Next it will be twitter who’s in trouble with that, I’m sure.

But here’s my point: THESE ARE PUBLIC FORUMS. Despite having a password to access them, it does not mean they are private. For example, we can all see Ashton Kutcher’s twitter if we should so desire. We can all see Teresa D’Amario’s facebook if we should so desire. So it wouldn’t be smart for me to badmouth anyone! On the same token, it would be very dangerous for me to say “I’m home alone. I’m so bored”. That’s tantamount to saying “I’m the perfect victim. There are no witnesses.”

Well, I refuse to be a victim. When I’m going out of town, I don’t announce it. So, my dear, sweet followers, if I get quiet and you don’t know why, I may be out of town. Or, I might have the flu and be staring at the boob tube instead of the equally hypnotizing computer monitor.

I think it’s time for our safety and security to step into 2010. It’s time to remember,

#1, if you talk bad about your company, that means you are making said company look bad. I bet, if you check the employee manual, that means you’re fired. It doesn’t matter if you were just blowing off steam.  A company is no better than the employees who work there, and your bosses know that.

#2: If you announce to the world your house is empty, someone is watching.  And that someone may not be quite as honest as you, and covet that awesome wide screen plasma TV you just bought and announced so happily on Facebook.  It would probably be easier on your front door if you just wrapped the TV in a pretty red bow and sat it on your doorstep.  Then they wouldn’t have to come inside for it.

So remember common sense, folks.

If you like your job and want to keep it, don’t badmouth customers or employees, the boss or the company.

If you are online, stop and think how many MILLIONS of people can see what you post BEFORE you touch that keyboard.  What would happen if one of those MILLIONS isn’t as honest as you are?  There are some downright evil people in this world.  They do quite well on their own finding their perfect victims.  Don’t make yourself a victim.  Fight back.  Don’t share personal information on the web!  Then it won’t matter who Facebook shares your information with.  If they have nothing more than your name, state, and email address, there’s not too much damage which can be done.  Unless if your name is something Stephanopolis and you are the only one in the state of Tatooine that has that name.

Then you just might be in trouble!

Ok, off my soapbox now. LOL

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Oldest Mesoamerican pyramid tomb found in Mexico

Oldest Mesoamerican pyramid tomb found in Mexico

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Talking Teaser at JoJo’s Bookcorner

Hey everyone!  Come check out JoJo’s Book corner, where I’m doing a talking teaser!  Inside you’ll find a never before shared excerpt from Dark Succession!

Jojo's Book Corner

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We have a Winner!

Woohoo!  I’m so excited!  I had more than 839 entries in my Dark Succession Gift card contest!  I’m so thrilled with the turnout, and thank you so much, everyone, for participating in the guest blogs.

But, we do have to make a decision, and I used Randomizer to help me decide who wins.  Randomizer is a great help so that nobody can ever say I’m biased.  I do so love that site!  So here’s Randomizer’s choice:

Randomizer does a great job. :)  So what I did was put everyone’s entries into an Excel spreadsheet.  There’s no good way to separate any particular person’s entries, so all their entries show up together.  I went to my spreadsheet to see who won:

Yep, there you have it! JoJo wins – from the post she made on Rae Lori’s blog!  Congratulations JoJo! Drop me a line at desertpetiri@aol.com with the email address you prefer to have the gift card sent to!

Now, I’d like to take a moment to thank all the participating blogs!  So everyone wander on over, and post a response on their blogs so they know you appreciate them, because without them, this contest wouldn’t have been possible:

And a special thank you to Novel-Works and Amy Ramsey who also promoted Dark Succession during it’s release week!  You guys are awesome!

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