Happy Halloween!

Janey’s busy recovering from the damned bug that knocked her on her ass almost a week ago.  She’s taking tomorrow off to do some other stuff and Saturday NaNo starts!  With the new/old computer up and running (fingers crossed) she hopes to kick it off with a bang Saturday morning while JD is still dreaming.

I hope to keep up with a post or two a week here during November; we’ll see how that goes.  For those of you in WP land who are also jumping into the NaNo pool – here’s to ya!  (You’ll just have to imagine the beer I’m toasting you with; I didn’t have time to hunt down a graphic.  Plus, I’m drinking coffee, not beer.)  May the words flow easy and make sense!

Finally, enjoy this old classic and have a safe, Happy Halloween!



It can’t just be me

This is where I park my truck when I catch the train on work days.

parking garage interior.png

See that speed bump?  It is wicked high!  And there is one on every level coming in and going out.  I know they’re trying to slow down drivers; hell, the garage’s speed limit is supposed to be 5 mph.  I’m constantly amazed at how fast people take these things; don’t they know what they’re doing to their suspension and alignment?

I’m very, very patient.  I generally wait until the mass exodus has slowed to a trickle and then I put the Beast in gear and head out.  By the time I’m on my way home the lower levels of the garage are mostly empty, leaving lots of empty space on either side of those nasty speed bumps.

Kind of like this, but with speed bumps down the middle:

parking garage interiorSo is it just me or does an empty garage WITH speed bumps make anyone else think of this (specifically 35-37 seconds in):

I apologize for the poor quality of the video and audio.  Believe it or not this was the only clip I could find online that included this scene.

Whenever I get to slalom around those speed bumps I hear Sid’s voice in my head.  How awesome is that?

Life Changing – UPDATED

Since I’ve already mentioned I’m “so not into” branding my blog or doing anything specific with respect to growing it, I thought I’d update this post instead of following the Blogging 201 assignment today.  I guess I am that student.  Oh well.  On with the update!

I shared Estrella’s article below with my daughter K a little while ago.  Last Monday she started a new job which she had been wanting for. freaking. ever.  The first thing she did on the work computer was set up a new password per Estrella’s suggestions.  Yesterday she called me as I was headed home to tell me her first goal has already been met!  Her new password was a form of “new car” and Saturday, my friend P gave a car to my daughter!  

While it’s hardly a new car, it IS new to K.  A pretty car it isn’t, but it runs strong and with some regular maintenance it will get her around while she saves toward something a little newer.  She’s already trying to decide what her next password/goal should be.  If you have no idea what I’m talking about, check out the original post below and then Estrella’s article.  

Today’s Blogging 101 assignment was to share some of the blogs I follow so other readers might be awed by their glory … or something like that.  Since I messed around last week with my sidebar and added the Blogs I Follow grid I think I’ve got that covered.  So instead, here’s a semi-real post!

I recently stumbled across an interesting article and it was so wonderful I had to share.  Mauricio Estrella makes a good argument for loving your passwords people.  I can’t speak to its effectiveness yet because while I did change my password straight away, it wasn’t really a quantifiable choice.  I need to rethink what my goal is and make another change before I make any judgment.

If you try this I’d love to hear how it goes.  Have a great week everyone!

How a Password Changed My Life.

Goals Shmoals

Apparently today’s Blogging 201 assignment was to set your blog’s goals. For some reason, I’m not getting the assignments on the WP app on my phone. I was uberbusy today at work and had no time to go online so I’ll look into that tomorrow, I hope.  I probably didn’t get Tab A properly into Slot B or something.

I don’t want to be THAT student; you know the one I’m talking about right? Doesn’t pay attention in class, doesn’t participate in discussions, doesn’t do the homework. However, I have always maintained that JDB is for me alone. It isn’t a vehicle to gain a following or awards. I’m not trying to “wow” my readers with deep messages, spiritual insights, savory recipes or helpful tips.

So what ARE my goals for JDB?

1. To post at least twice a week – at least until November. All bets are off when NaNo starts.

2. Since my favorite part of writing this blog is making people smile or dare I say, laugh, I’ll try to keep my posts on the lighter side. I think posting from my smartphone to take advantage of the autocorrect feature might be cheating, but that won’t stop me if that’s all I have access to.  (You HAVE heard of the humorous website devoted to autocorrect boo boos haven’t you?)

3. Here’s an anti-goal to round things out: my regular readers know I don’t “do” social media. Not as Janey, not as the woman behind the curtain. I just don’t. So the only way this blog is going to grow is kicking and screaming. That said, I won’t turn away readers and I truly hope you’re entertained.

So a NOT regular reader, or possibly another Blogging 201 classmate might ask what the hell I’m doing here if not to brand or grow my blog. I may not be interested in the stats, but I do want to learn the nuts and bolts. I love the changes I made to JDB via Blogging 101. Plus I met some awesome bloggers and follow a bunch of them. I imagine I will meet and follow more this time around. It’s going to be interesting, amusing and thought-provoking and I’m looking forward to it!

Honorary Goonie

Today’s Daily Prompt asked us to put ourselves in a favorite movie. For me, it was a toss-up. I raised my kids during the 80s and 90s and two of our very favorites were Adventures in Babysitting and The Goonies. I went hunting through our movie collection and discovered I still have a copy of The Goonies, so in lieu of trying to hunt down video clips on my Smartphone I’ve decided to re-watch it in all its glory.

I so wish I could have gone along with the four boys to look for One-eyed Willie’s treasure. I always felt out of place when I was growing up, much like Mike, Mouth, Chunk and Data. How cool would it have been to have crazy friends to go adventuring with?  Riding bicycles all over, staying out till after dark and scaring each other silly.

Mike’s certainty that the “rich stuff” is there waiting to be discovered is unwavering. I would like to be so certain about ANY thing. His deepest desire, to save his and his friends’ homes is a worthy goal which leads the group on a scary, rollercoaster of a ride.

I won’t give any more away, it’s too good to ruin it in case you want to see it yourself for the first time.  The Goonies may not have a deep, riveting plot, but I found it entertaining and even inspiring.

Now, the gang has reached the wishing well and I need to focus on the movie.  I hope you check it out.

Opinions please

I stumbled on a hard copy of  Maxwell’s Silver Bullet.  There may be more than one version in the folder I found, I haven’t looked through it yet.

For those regular readers out there, you may recall that the above is the title of an unfinished novel and that I am contemplating – aw hell – I actually signed up so I guess contemplation time is over.  Anyway, I decided I would try NaNoWriMo this year and hopefully give Charlie the story she deserves.

So my question for you all is:  Do I re-read the hard copy or do I just wing it – starting from scratch?  Please respond in the comments.  Serious or smartass answers are all welcome.

Thanks in advance!

Not a real problem

I follow almost 40 blogs and luckily, I can check out new posts for most of them in between work tasks.  However, I work for a global law firm with electronic security measures that seem to increase exponentially.  From one day to the next I never know which blogs will be blocked.  Well, not exactly BLOCKED in that I can’t go there.  For example, when I click over to read Doobster’s latest post at Mindful Digressions my computer opens a warning window that the site has triggered the ScanSafe protection employed by the firm.  It will allow me to click through to see the site, BUT the fine print advises that by doing so I agree the firm can monitor my computer activity.

I would be surprised if the firm isn’t already watching my online activity to some degree.  A secretary was dismissed awhile back after her frequent visits to Facebook allowed a virus to infect the computer she used.  Obviously they have tracking of some sort in place to keep tabs on what we do online.  But in all my years here nothing has ever been said about my online activity.  So apparently what I’ve been doing is within the bounds of acceptability.  The ScanSafe protocol is relatively new, introduced after our local firm was taken over by the monolith we now work for.  In the beginning, Accuradio and Pandora triggered it and I clicked through anyway, after querying our IT people about it.  The sensitivity was changed or something because neither online radio site activates ScanSafe now.  But unless it is strictly work-related I try not to tempt fate by ignoring the ScanSafe alerts.

This puts a crimp in my blog-reading as I mentioned earlier.  There are several blogs I follow which I really enjoy but cannot see at work.  I’ll see in my reader that there’s a new post by someone I like reading and sadly I have to wait until I’m on my way home to read those, IF I remember to go back.  And in the interim, other new posts are popping up on the list and moving the ones I’ve had to postpone further down making it more likely I’ll miss something really good.

I understand this is a minor hiccup in my day; there are plenty of problems out there much worse than this and I suppose I should try to put it in perspective.

[pause for musing]

Nah, I like whining too much.

Thursday means Macabre Macaroni

This will send a chill down your spine in preparation for Halloween! You’re welcome. 😮

Entertaining Stories

I feel like I’m mathematically still in the wild card race. It would take some doing, but I could still reach 666 followers by Halloween. I’ve made great strides, but it’s looking like a long shot. If you enjoy this story, please feel free to re-blog it. It might help me reach my goal.


I explained to the third visitor today that Gillydoc wasn’t real. He was a silly story made up by a shopkeeper outside the park to make sure all the tourists stopped by his store. They decided their kids needed a photo with the statue outside the store anyway. Most of them do.

I clocked off and headed down the canyon toward my assigned cabin. The radio call got my attention, but it broke up. All I managed to hear was “missing tourist.”

It was easier to take the main highway around than the narrow winding…

View original post 750 more words

NaNoWriMo, BBT & Stephanie Plum

Or why my novel isn’t finished.

Did anyone see the most recent episode of The Big Bang Theory?


The guys decided that since the girls entered their lives they’ve been pretty distracted from their usual creative endeavors.  They realized that next year is the FUTURE, according to Back to the Future Part II.  Why hasn’t the hoverboard been invented already?  Leonard recalled he had worked up some ideas, designs or whatever for such a project several years previously and wondered what happened to it.  Sheldon observed that Penny moved in two days after Leonard’s brainstorm … and the rest is history.

So what do they do?  They determine a women-free weekend is in order.  They will put their heads together and come up with something cool and world-changing.  The women head to Vegas and the guys are left to get brainy.

Unsurprisingly, it appears the women were not entirely responsible for their distraction.  As the episode proceeds Sheldon, Raj and Howard repeatedly wander off course.  I won’t go into all the different ways they’re distracted – I don’t want to completely ruin it for anyone who hasn’t seen it and ignored the Spoiler Alert.  But by the end of the show they’re all back in the apartment, happily watching Ghostbusters.

So what does that have to do with NaNoWriMo?  Not a damn thing.  But hold on, I’ll tie this together eventually.

If you’re at all familiar with Janet Evanovich’s writing then you probably know about Stephanie Plum.  If you don’t, what is wrong with you?  Go find a copy of One For the Money and read it!  Okay, maybe chick lit isn’t for you; I get that.  I can only take so much of it myself, but Stephanie Plum was my lethal distraction.  Where “lethal” is not literal.  I might as well have been watching Ghostbusters with the guys.

Some years ago I started writing a novel called Maxwell’s Silver Bullet.  The female protagonist was Charlie Maxwell, a feisty, wise ass 40-something.  Sound familiar?  (I even had a cutesy title in mind for the sequel:  Charlie’s Angles! Yes, seriously.)  Back when the novel was practically flying  onto the screen, I had an email pal who worked for the City.  Now that I think about it, I’m not sure we ever met in person – weird (shrugs).  But we connected through work and continued our e-friendship for years, sharing jokes and the like.  I happened to mention one day that I was writing a novel and she begged to read it.  Okay, begged might be a bit of an exaggeration.  She was a writer wannabe too, part of a writers’ group and interested in what I was doing.  So I emailed it to her.

Now despite what you may be thinking, she didn’t steal it.  She gave it a very thoughtful critique and demanded to know where the rest was.  Not only that, she compared Charlie Charlie’s mom to Stephanie Plum’s grandmother!  I asked, “Who?”

“You can’t be serious,” she replied.  “You don’t know about Stephanie Plum?”

“Nope, can’t say I do.”

“You must read her.  I’ll loan you my copies.”

Ah, yeah.  Within the week a box arrived for me with the first six Stephanie Plum paperbacks inside!

It was my doom.  I think I probably finished all of them within two weeks.  Back then I was commuting by ferry so I had LOTS of time to read, and with no laptop I couldn’t write anyway, right?

Once I finished Hot Six I got the next one from the library.  And the next.  And the next.  I didn’t stop writing immediately, but between immersing myself in Stephanie’s world and running into a wall plot-wise I finally came to a standstill creatively.

It’s been a lot of years since then, at least ten.  There were times I tried to pick up the novel and continue but it never seemed to work out.  At some point in the intervening years the electronic copy was lost when our computer crashed.  Poor Charlie.  Then one year I tried NaNoWriMo (see?  I told you I’d tie this together).  That started out okay but again, I hit a wall and didn’t recover.  I’ve been tempted occasionally to try again but so far I’ve resisted the bug … until now.  Once again I am contemplating NaNoWriMo.  And wondering whether Charlie deserves a resurrection and a new plot.  I even went so far as to change my work password (see this post for an explanation).

I’m terrified.  And just a little excited.