Childhood Revisited

My Earliest Memory

And how appropriate for the season!

A permanent traumas was averted

Entertaining guests. Permanent trauma averted.

Harken back to a slower, quieter time:  the mid-20th century, an age without digital cameras, when it took a few months to fill up the roll of film and get it developed.

Christmas day:  One 3½-year-old went to bed the night before, thinking of Santa Claus on his rounds, and worried she wouldn’t be able to sleep for all the excitement.

But I did fall asleep, which made the night pass more quickly.

As usual, I was the first one awake Christmas morning.  But I had orders not to go downstairs until my parents and older brother woke up.  It’s amazing that such an unruly, difficult child would obey.  But Christmas was special, and waiting just prolonged the happiness.

When the time finally came, we rambled down the stairs.  The (colored) lights were twinkling on the Christmas tree, and several presents which hadn’t been there the night before beckoned us.  My mother put on a pot of coffee for the grown-ups, but we kids didn’t need any additional stimulation.

One medium-sized box was the last to be opened—a Jack in the Box!  I put my face close to the lid and turned the handle.  A familiar tune played.

All around the Mulberry Bush
The monkey chased the weasel.
The monkey thought it was all in fun.
POP!…

It’s the devil!  Right in my face! 

…goes the weasel.

It scared the living daylights out of me!  I began to sob and continued for an indeterminate amount of time.

Eventually I calmed down and took a closer look.  It wasn’t the devil, it was a clown.  In my defense, though, it was a pretty ugly clown.  And a little scary, especially when one’s face was just a couple inches away.

Turns out it was a pretty good present.  I played with it for hours that day.  Not too many months later, the clown’s felt hat had been torn off, but the music still played, and the clown still popped out on cue.  It continued to entertain me for a very long time.

When I look back, I’m always amazed that, even at that young age, I knew about God and the devil, and the true Christian meaning of Christmas.  It’s something we tend to forget in this modern era of materialism and over-commercialism.

[This post was written in response to a prompt from your friends at WordPress.com’s Daily Post.]

Just like a kid

I bought the cats all sorts of toys for Christmas.  So what is the big boy playing with right now?  A receipt I found in my handbag this evening and was  going to throw away.  Instead, I wadded it up in a ball and threw it at him.  Now he’s chasing it all over the place while the feathered flyer and long-tailed mice sit unappreciated on the living room floor.

Speaking of holidays, I hope yours was wonderful.

P.S.  In case  you’re wondering, I changed the theme so I could take better advantage of the falling snow WordPress.org provides us with every Dec.  (Well, at least last year and this year.)

Web ramblings

I needed a new theme.  I was getting pretty tired of Ocean Mist.  I’d had it for about a year and actually went through all 4 seasons of “streams.”  (Do you remember what they were?)  And so, since summer is just around the corner, I decided it’s time for a change.  Plus, WordPress.com has introduced a butt-load of new themes in the past few months.  Of course, none of them meet with all my requirements, so I still have to “settle.”

Of course, I could to create a “stand-alone” blog on my website.  Oops!  Except that I no longer have a website.  (Which means I need to update my links.)  My domain name expired (the hosting company forgot to tell me until it went into “recovery” mode, whereby I’d have to pay $80 for something that should have cost $10).  So I canceled the account.  I really liked the company, but I’ve had 2 bad experiences with them recently, so I decided to cut my losses.  I’d still like to have a web presence (other than here), but I’m not sure where to go.  I’m always a little leery before making the commitment, even though my experiences always been pretty good.

WP.com offers the ability to create your own blog theme, but it costs about $15 a year per blog.  That seems a little steep to me when I can get my own domain name for $10 a year.  Oops!   I’m comparing apples to oranges.  What I need to compare is the yearly cost of hosting, anywhere from $50 on up (except you often have to pay for a 2 year commitment) to the cost of custom CSS.  When you look at it that way, $15/year isn’t so bad.

Interestingly, this theme has allowed me to design something very similar to one I was (half-heartedly) working on.  Except that they put the sidebar in the footer! That’s just wrong!  Then again, people are supposed to read the blog, not click to go elsewhere, right?

So, any bets on how long this theme will last?

I’m baaaack!

Yes, I am returning to WordPress.com.  Why? Probably because I like the fact that I’ve had up to 16 viewer (per day!) in July, even though the site’s been dormant for two months.  Hey, maybe someday I’ll get comments from more than my two regulars.  (Not that I don’t love you, guys.  I do!)

Of course, this is a personal blog, so why the hell would anyone who doesn’t know me be interested in what I have to say?  Because I’m awesome?  Nah, I don’t think that’s it.  But hey, if I can connect with other Supernatural fans, I’m all for it!

Since I’m speaking of blogging, while searching YouTube last evening I came across a video of some talk show about blogging called PC Hookup.  It appears on Justin.tv.  (I don’t think I could do an explanation of the website justice, so I’ll let someone else do it.)  Yes, it’s PC Hookup.  Its sponsor is Microsoft.  Ha!

Anyway, I mention this because their guest was Tony Huh (at least I think that’s his name) who runs I Can Haz Cheezburger (ICHC).  I was hoping to get some insight into how to build a really successful blog, but turns out he bought it! Well, that doesn’t help me, because I don’t have a gazillion dollars to buy some really popular blog.  Ugh!  I feel cheated.  At least I learned LOLCats is  pronounced “lol-kats” (just 2 syllables) when all along I’d been saying “el-oh-el-kats.”

Ch-ch-ch-changes

I (slightly) renamed this blog and changed the tag line.

Speaking of showers, I had no hot water this morning.  (No heat either.)  Good thing I wasn’t too stinky, ’cause there was no way I was going to step into a cold shower.  Just washing my face was brutal enough.  At least it woke me up.

Did you notice how this blog has grown exponentially this week?  All the new categories, links and archives that suddenly appeared?  I learned how to import and export WordPress blogs.   Since I wasn’t in the mood to manually type all the Stream of  Conscience (I) links and categories again, I wanted to see if there was an easier way.  And there was!

Actually, the impetus for trying this experiment was to see if I could move the Sci Fi Chicks fansite to WordPress.com without losing a lot of data.  (Moving the site would allow us to take advantage of WP.com’s tags, linking it to other blogs with similar interests, thus reaching new readers.  Hopefully.)

And, did you see how comments are now “threaded”?  I am so excited!  Now we can reply to a comment specifically, not just the post in general.  Yay!

Get back in that saddle!

Where have I been?  Screwing around, of course.

I think I’ve decided to make this my home blog once and for all.  Of course, knowing me and my horrible inability to make a lasting decision, that could change at any time.   If you’ve followed me for any amount of time (all 2 of you!  :D), you know I start here, go there, try something else, go back, go somewhere else, yadda yadda yadda.

I’m growing to like it here at WordPress.com for a couple reasons.  The first is that the version of WP is always the latest (if not the greatest) version.   Even though I use one of the hosting services recommended by WordPress for its automatic WP installation, I’m always about a version behind.  And I’ve yet to successfully upload a new WP version by myself.  Until I figure that bug-a-boo out, I might as well have it done for me, right?

The second reason is the ability to find like-minded blogs through the use of tags.  I guess I’m getting to the point in my meager blogging career that I’m kind of anxious to get new readers.  Not so much for this blog, which just personal drivel, but for other websites I’d like to get up and running—and read.  Sites like Sci Fi Chicks…  and a couple others I have in  mind.  [Stay tuned!]

So, I guess that means I better get busy and start posting here more frequently, and get serious enough to update my sidebar links ‘n’ things.

Plusses and minuses

Now I remember one of the reasons I didn’t care for WordPress.com. I can’t make any changes to the design. Not unless I shell out $15 a year.  And why am I not willing to do that?  It’s less expensive than paying a web hosting company and using the stand-alone WordPress platform.  I guess I’m willing to pay for the web hosting because it gives me so much more freedom and flexibility.

On the plus side, WordPress.com has many more themes (designs) than the last time I used it. And there are so many I like, I might have to give them all a try. The theme I’m using now is one of the new ones, called Albeo.  I picked it because it’s the first of the designs shown (they’re in alphabetical order).  And besides, I think it’s quite eye catching.

There are only two things that I don’t care for.  First, the text is a little too light for my taste (and aging eyes). I’d like to change it to black or at least a darker gray, but I can’t unless I shell out $15.  And then there’s the tag line. Or rather, lack of it.  I love a good tag line. And I think mine is pretty good, but you don’t see it with this design.  So… bummer.

“Albeo” is by “Elena G.” of Design Disease. I have no idea if Elena G. is Design Disease, or if Design Disease is a whole company of folks.  And while “Albeo” is only available for WordPress.com (thus, I can’t modify it unless I, you know, spend the $15), they have a few other very adorable designs which all have a retro feel to them.  A few even have tag lines! And since one of them is a Christmas theme, I think I’m going to have to load it at Stream of Conscience.