Monday, February 22, 2010

one in 1.75 Billion...

A recent online solicitation I received:

"WIN $5,000 A WEEK for Life!"

Geezus..!! Where do I go to sign-up..!?!

Of course, once I check it out a little more thoroughly ...this missive from Publishers Clearing House ...once I check it out thoroughly I see the odds of winning are "1 in 1,750,000,000"..!! One in one point 75 Billion..!! And I thought the Powerball lottery odds were long..!!

Lets see, what is the current world population ...sleeper runs off to 'Google it'. Hmmm, just over 6.8 billion peeps, number courtesy of your tax dollars.

So if aliens were to swoop down and abduct 4 random earthlings from the entire world's population . . .that would be about my odds of being implanted with an anal probe. Or of winning the Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes. Ha. Like that is gonna happen

Image source: Clinton Steeds via Creative Commons license

Hey, did you hear that..?!? Strange lights and noises outside my bedroom window ...I better go investigate. Well soon as I complete my Publishers Clearing House entry..!!


Friday, February 12, 2010

' Say what..?!? ' Number 5


It has been more than a while since I have posted one of these 'unique phrases' posts. I would like to think I have a ton of new and entertaining phrases to share.

Well sure . . .I would like to say that...


As always, these are simply short phrases that I have encountered while reading on the web. They either strike me by their 'musical sound' or their discordant cacophony. As always, the artificial arbiter I use for this 'unique' label is, of course, the ubiquitous Google dot com.

What defines my 'unique phrases'..?? Generally they are two or three words with a handful or less of distinct 'Google hits'. They also have to have been used intentionally, in some unique (there is that word again) way that communicates an idea in a novel manner. Kinda like pornography: hard to define ...but you know it when you see it.

You would think with all the millions of monkeys, like you and I, pounding on all our keyboards out here on the web ... you would think everything that could be said would have already been said. But not true ... thank gawd.

Unique two word phrases are worth more than three or four word phrases to me. I mean, obviously the more words you start stringing together the more likely you are to craft a new phrase. But much longer than four just gets silly ... so I try to notice and identify only two-, three-, and four-word phrases. Think of it as gold, silver, and bronze medal-worthy.

Anyway, enough explanation. Let's see what we got this time...

Unique phrases I have crafted or discovered:

One unique result found for "homosexual yard sale"
A phrase used by an Epinions user while reviewing the novel The Time Traveler's Wife. Is a puzzler to me how a 'yard sale' could be 'homosexual'. But there it is.

No results found for "veiled linear veneer"
A phrase thrown out in a longish message board thread: "So I think this whole thread is much more cyclical in nature than its rather thinly veiled linear veneer would have one believe."

To this day I have no idea what they meant, in the context of the thread. But it sounds good.

Four unique results for "drowsily sunny"
A writer on Epinions was thinking of warm summer days while reviewing Henry and Mudge in the Green Time.

"But reading the drowsily sunny Henry and Mudge in the Green Time made me long just a little for warm summer days with shorts and bare feet, with picnics and hoses."

Sure evokes time and setting for me.

A unique find of "nobly ignoble trickster"
If you were to try to identify a fictional character that phrase might describe . . .well, Robin Hood seems as good a match as might be made. 'Nobly ignoble' has more than a few Google hits. But pairing it with 'trickster' is unique phrasing of the highest order.

Anyway, there is the next installment of my little web reading-n-writing obsession. Hopefully I will not be so late with the next 'unique phrases' post.

Hey, if you have any examples of your own please share them in a comment..!!


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

How to write a love letter...

A review I wrote a couple of years ago on Epinions.

Somehow, it seems appropriate right now, given the season...

Other People's Love Letters: 150 Letters You Were Never Meant to See

OK, OK. I confess. This book is not really about 'how to write a love letter'. I am just shamelessly throwing myself at the web search engine spiders.

Perhaps my sticky net caught you also my dear reader. If it did perhaps you are searching for the perfect words to reveal your heart's anguished desire to claim that of another. If you are on such a mission ...I envy you.

I envy you that feeling of your bursting heart that has so muddled your thoughts that you are having trouble embellishing 'I love you..!!' When perhaps that is all your desired one really needs to read ...and to hear.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Other People's Love Letters: 150 Letters You Were Never Meant to See
are the random samplings of love letters collected from ordinary people with ordinary lives yet extraordinary loves. We all know that no flame burns as hot as the one in our own heart. We all know that no pain stabs as cruelly as that felt in our own broken heart. Luckily many of us are driven to tell each other just that. Just as luckily, we often find the written word an empowering way to 'speak our heart'.

Those extremes, and every feeling in between, are captured between the covers of this book. Editor Bill Shapiro first read a love letter not meant for his eyes when ...



Read the rest at the review page on Epinions dot com.


Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Snowman

Like a carefully arranged photo album, the pictures of The Snowman share one special day, and night, of one little boy. We know nothing about him, neither his name nor where he lives. We only know this special day is cold and snowy.

Told without words, dozens of smaller and larger pictures tell the story of the creation of 'the snowman' and his interactions with the young boy as he comes to life. The previous reviewer described the artwork as "crayon-brushed" while I might describe them as chalk-drawn. Regardless, they are soft, warm, and inviting and easily flow together to tell the story.

Our young man wakens to a fresh and still falling snowstorm and hurries outside to build a snowman. Rather than a typical '3-ball' snowman, this snowman is piled high with arms carved into his sides. The obligatory pieces of coal, scarf and hat, and other household items complete his form.

That evening the young boy awakens from his sleep (or is he dreaming..??) and goes outside to find his snowman doffing his cap and shaking the boy's hand. His arms work..!! He has legs..!!

Our new friends proceed to explore the house, the world, of the little boy. A pet cat, TV, lights, stairs, clothes, hot water, the flames of a stove, a skateboard and many more household items are all shared with the snowman. The joy of the snowman climbing into a deep chest freezer in the garage is a favorite pic of mine. What could be more natural for a snowman..?!?

As if to repay the boy for sharing the delights of his human world, the snowman takes the boy flying into the winter sky. Yes, a snowman can fly did not know this..??

Read the rest of my review of The Snowman at the review page at