I’ll just have to accept the many things I don’t understand about my woman. I decided to start a list that I’ll call the “Universal Men’s Haven’t Got A Clue List”, or UMHGACL for short. You are expected to contribute to my list because no one person can produce it. Just add one experience to the list by way of a comment below. Have your friends do it. (I’ll probably need more server memory)

  • Why do I have all those decorative pillows on my bed? Five in total. We take them off the bed at night so we can get into it and, guess what, put them back on the bed the next morning.
  • Why do we need scatter cushions on seats? I can’t sit down without moving cushions out of the way.
  • Why is it that every flat surface is covered in pictures, plants, knick-knacks and other things I don’t even recognize? There is no place to put my stuff down.
  • Why is it that she applies her make-up before she works out? Doesn’t sweat mess things up?
  • How come her need for closet space expands as the kids leave home, culminating in her using every closet in the house, while the same small hole-in-the-wall closet meets my needs for the rest of my life?
  • Why doesn’t she let me apply the 3-second rule when I drop something on the floor?
  • Why does she spend money on the tanning booth when summer is right around the corner and it’s free?
  • Why does she love movies that make her cry?

Feel free to link to this page so you can monitor comments as they come in, and E-mail it to your friends. Now it’s your turn. Add a comment below and keep it clean! Make me laugh!

Genealogy Software – How to get the most out of it

Along with millions of other people, I’m a user of Family Tree Maker and Ancestry.com genealogy software. You can view genealogy software as a place to collect names and dates or you can really use the software to learn and capture history. The following is a list of my favorite features along with some useful tips and insights:

Family Tree Maker:

The main user interface is plain vanilla but simple to navigate. Like a car, it’s what’s under the hood that really counts. I rarely print out so I don’t find those features exciting. The following excite me:

  • Buried under the “edit” button is an area for capturing information about that person. Write down everything you learn about an individual on the “notes” page and, before you know it, that person’s life’s story takes shape. LUV this feature.
  • In the same area is a “medical” tab. If you enter the cause of death from their death certificate you can build a history of YOUR genetic tendencies. Want to know about your family medical history? Look at it there.
  • I absolutely love the merge feature. My daughter-in-law entered her known family tree while living in a different state from me. The file was transferred to me using the Messenger file transfer feature. (Good for large files). Once I had it on my computer I simply merged hers with mine. The process took a while, during which time Family Tree Maker asked me a couple of questions and presto it was done. Just like that. Awesome feature.
  • One day I found a relevant piece of a tree on someone else’s site, downloaded it and, because of standardized file types, was able to merge it.
  • The slide show feature is wonderful. Collect up all those pictures of a person and put them into the scrapbook in chronological order. Run the slide show and watch that person grow up and age. Personally I find this very moving when I watch my parent’s slideshow.
  • On the main page there is a “web search resource” button that can take you directly to relevant search records at Ancestry.com. This is powerful if your record matches Ancestry.com’s records. If not, see my tips below.



    • The best single feature on the Ancestry site is the ability to download copies of census records. A census record provides the address, parents, siblings, jobs and place of birth. Priceless information! People would actually go door to door and sit down with the occupants to fill those out. To protect people’s privacy, census records are only released after 100 years.
    • The database search can be frustrating at times. I have found that many times it works best when less information is input. It sounds counter intuitive, but computers will search for exact matches in the data and, if yours is a little different from what the database contains, the results can get buried. Sometimes less is more. Unless you are very confident about your information, use a broader search to help narrow it down.

        I want to hear about your experience. Please use the comment box below to tell me about it.

        Another good site is Genealogy Blog Carnival

Survivor Reality – Really!

I have always been a fan of the reality show Survivor and always thought that it would be quite an adventure (I don’t think that fun is the right word) to be a contestant.So what makes someone want to be part of a reality program like Survivor; to leave the warmth and safety of home to compete in a strange place under inhospitable conditions? Well certainly there are 1,000,000 reasons right up front but I think for me, more than anything, it was the idea of competing in an adventure where I could put this 59 year mind and body to task. There is something very appealing about the notion of just doing it, no matter what age, and of pitting your wits and skills against the others of different ages and background in an effort to be the sole survivor. However, it wasn’t until the end of the season that Rupert, the lovable guy with the big hair, competed that I decided to go for it. He was fun to watch. Inspired by his success and enthusiasm, I printed the online entry form, filled it out and enlisted the help of my husband and family to work on the video, which was the other entry requirement. This proved to be a challenge in itself. My husband wanted to show video of me running, (my normal routine is to run at the weekends) and at the finish I would say a few words about why I like to run. Easy enough. So of course I put my best foot forward and on his signal I put everything I had into running the assigned course by running as fast as I could. The only problem was he didn’t like the shot and asked me to do it again but in his words “this time, let’s see you really run” By the end of the run I was so breathless you couldn’t hear what I was saying (something about how much I enjoyed this!!) and curious passers by were stopping to see what was going on (we ended up with a few unpaid extras in the video). My next task was to sign up for swimming lessons. All of the previous Survivor episodes had required a lot of swimming and I definitely needed to master the crawl if I was to stay in contention (the breast stroke wasn’t going to cut it) I signed up at the local YMCA for some adult lessons and purchased the essentials that would give me the Mark Spitz edge. Unfortunately, the class was cancelled due to lack of numbers (or perhaps they all spotted me swimming a practice length in flippers and goggles) Still I remained steadfast and brought a book that was going to take me to victory. My first foray into the aquatic world had me swimming with the minnows, a group of noisy five year olds that could out swim me with their hands tied behind their backs! The three lifeguards all had their eyes trained on me; they knew disaster when they saw it. But my biggest shock was walking back to the locker room afterwards. I took my goggles off and caught sight of something in the mirror that stopped me dead in my tracks. There was this bedraggled person with huge red circles etched around her eyes…it was raccoon woman! The goggles had left an indelible mark on me. But the shock of seeing myself like this didn’t deter me and I splashed and spluttered my way though many afternoons of practice. Now there was nothing left to do except wait and wonder. If I got picked would I end up so hungry that I would be the first contestant eliminated for eating someone alive? Would my hitherto supportive family finally give in to embarrassment and disown me?

As it turned out the questions were hypothetical; I didn’t get picked and never got the chance to see if I could outwit, and outplay my opponents. However, I did learn to swim better and I have a CD of the video to remind me that I gave it a shot. As they say it’s never too late. I hear that there’s a new reality show on the horizon called Pirates. “Ah shiver me timbers and break out the rum!….

Here is a list of reality TV Blogs:

Reality TV Magazine

Reality TV Blog

Diane Holloway’s TV Blog


Why does anyone bother to do this? Should we get a life? Continue Reading

Electronics aren’t just for men anymore.

Why not change it up this Christmas and surprise the lady in your life with an electronic gift. There is such a large selection of items to choose from that you are sure to find something that she will find useful and that she will love. Here are some of my personal favorites that are in the stores now. Continue Reading

Breast cancer in the family

pinkribbon.jpgI remember hearing the words “I have breast cancer” but not really believing it. It was my sister giving me the news and I was absolutely dumbstruck. Continue Reading

Retirement Income Planning — My Guiding Principles

“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” John Lennon.

“Plan for your dreams or life will just happen to you” Me.

Following are the guiding principles that I use in my retirement planning process. I use these rules to guide me in my decision-making. Continue Reading

Romantic Vacations — Our Top Eight List

If you can’t rekindle your love life in these places there is something wrong with you. These are AWESOME! As I wrote this I couldn’t help but think; I’m having a great life. It just doesn’t get any better than this! What a wonderful way to spend time with your partner. Continue Reading