Family, Uncategorized

Robin Roberts — A True Lady of Grace!


Yes, as a writer, I will proclaim that I am a news addict. For many, many years, I was a true groupie of the Today Show, but when they released Ann Curry from the Today Show, I decided to change channels. I did not know who was on Good Morning America until I started watching it, and I must say, I had no idea of the physical struggles of Robin Roberts due to breast cancer. Now, she is fighting MDS, myelodysplastic syndrome. According to the website, Web MD,

“Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) is a condition that affects the bone marrow and the blood cells it produces.

Your bone marrow makes different types of blood cells:

 Red blood cells, which carry oxygen in your blood.

Today while watching Good Morning America, I cried while listening to all of the caring people who love Robin Roberts. Martina McBride truly proved what a wonderful performer and role model she is while singing, “I’m Gonna Love You Through It.” Her performance brought tears to my eyes. Those of you who read my blog on a regular basis know that I am a singer, and I love to sing songs that touch the heart. Today, I truly became a devoted fan of Good Morning America. I am praying for the speedy recovery of Robin Roberts and I pray that she will rise above the storms of  illnesses and show all of us that this journey will be not just a stepping stone for her, but an adventure into the true, admirable role model of a woman such as Robin Roberts is today!

The relationship of Robin and her sister, Sally-Ann Roberts, appears to be a rare, and close bonding of two sisters who are definitely more than siblings. I am so envious. I have three sisters, only one that I am close to, and I cherish her. How I admire people who were blessed to have strong family relationships. It has been an intense journey for me to set the past free and become closer to my sisters. I have only accomplished my goals of family relationships with one. The other two, I wish them the best while praying that someday our ship will come back from the intense storms and find the sunshine in life, not the sorrow. To quote my father a few weeks before he died from esophageal cancer, “Move forward with life. Don’t look back.”

I have followed my father’s advice and moved forward. I do not dwell on the sad childhood I had. I have grown to look for the sunrises in every morning and I have found peace by giving myself a positive mental attitude.  Every day I repeat the words I live by, “Today is a new day…make it great.” Sometimes I succeed, other times, I fight to pull myself up to smile again. Life isn’t easy, but it is the only life we have. We can choose to dwell on the past and the mistakes made, or we can pull ourselves up to ‘move forward with life.’

Robin Roberts, I will miss you more than I can express on this blog, and I will be listening every day to hear how your progression is going. I believe in the power of prayer. My faith is a strong one and I know when storms come into my life, all I have to do is to lift my eyes towards the Heavens and say a prayer. Today, I pray for you, Robin, as your journey into another chapter of your blessed life. God is with you. He has provided the life support you need in your sister, Sally-Ann. I am confident that your journey will be successful and real soon, you will look to see a rainbow that will fill your heart with the best of health. May God bless you and your family as you take this journey!

Robin Roberts, I wish you the best!

Uncategorized

Lowcountry Karaoke Idol Finals Held in a Smoking Bar


My husband and I attended the Lowcountry Karaoke Idol Finals competition on Sunday, August 26, 2012, held at Two Keys Tavern, definitely a smoking bar.

When we arrived, we had to pay a $5.00 cover charge. I do not know if that is a policy of Two Keys, but it was a bit of a surprise. Since the bar is a smoking bar, I could not wait to get home to shower and get the disgusting smell of cigarette smoke off of me! My husband smoked for years, and I knew that when I married him. I am proud to say that in 1998 he gave up cigarettes — not because he wanted to, but when a zipper was added to his chest, he recognized that smoking is really bad for your health — especially for a heart patient.

When he smoked he never imagined the smell, simply because he loved to suck on a cigarette. I refer to them as adult pacifiers! Think of it! A smoker is addicted to the cigarette…they have to have that cigarette to calm them down, to nourish a truly bad habit! Now, he cannot stand the smell. We tolerated the scent for as long as we could, anxious to find out who would be the six finalists of the competition, but at 10:00, we chose to leave. The cloud of smoke was getting just a bit too thick for my taste.

Back to the competition. I must say, there are many talented singers within the Charleston, SC community. I wish the winner the best and hope she will continue singing. As for me, I am not certain if I will compete again. Singing is my passion and I am hopeful that South Carolina will awaken and recognize we need to become a non-smoking state, with smoking permitted in designated areas only, so those of us who do not smoke will not inhale the scent of second-hand smoke in our lungs, clothing and bodies. It is a fact that second-hand smoke is dangerous — just visit the website, http://www.cancer.org/Cancer/CancerCauses/TobaccoCancer/secondhand-smoke

and read all about it:

“Secondhand smoke (SHS) is also known as environmental tobacco smoke (ETS). SHS is a mixture of 2 forms of smoke that come from burning tobacco:

    • Sidestream smoke – the smoke that comes from the end of a lighted cigarette, pipe, or cigar

and

  • Mainstream smoke – the smoke that is exhaled by a smoker

Even though we think of these as the same, they aren’t. The sidestream smoke has higher concentrations of cancer-causing agents (carcinogens) than the mainstream smoke. And, it contains smaller particles than mainstream smoke, which make their way into the body’s cells more easily.

When non-smokers are exposed to SHS it is called involuntary smoking or passive smoking.Non-smokers who breathe in SHS take in nicotine and other toxic chemicals just like smokers do. The more SHS you are exposed to, the higher the level of these harmful chemicals in your body.”

The morning after the competition, even though I showered, washed my hair and clothing, I still smelled smoke in my lungs and I tasted it.

Let us hope that if there is another competition, the finals will be held at a local non-smoking bar in Charleston! After all, it is the Twenty-first Century!

 

Uncategorized

Lowcountry Karaoke Idol Finals Held in a Smoking Bar


My husband and I attended the Lowcountry Karaoke Idol Finals competition on Sunday, August 26, 2012, held at Two Keys Tavern, definitely a smoking bar.

When we arrived, we had to pay a $5.00 cover charge. I do not know if that is a policy of Two Keys, but it was a bit of a surprise. Since the bar is a smoking bar, I could not wait to get home to shower and get the disgusting smell of cigarette smoke off of me! My husband smoked for years, and I knew that when I married him. I am proud to say that in 1998 he gave up cigarettes — not because he wanted to, but when a zipper was added to his chest, he recognized that smoking is really bad for your health — especially for a heart patient.

When he smoked he never imagined the smell, simply because he loved to suck on a cigarette. I refer to them as adult pacifiers! Think of it! A smoker is addicted to the cigarette…they have to have that cigarette to calm them down, to nourish a truly bad habit! Now, he cannot stand the smell. We tolerated the scent for as long as we could, anxious to find out who would be the six finalists of the competition, but at 10:00, we chose to leave. The cloud of smoke was getting just a bit too thick for my taste.

Back to the competition. I must say, there are many talented singers within the Charleston, SC community. I wish the winner the best and hope she will continue singing. As for me, I am not certain if I will compete again. Singing is my passion and I am hopeful that South Carolina will awaken and recognize we need to become a non-smoking state, with smoking permitted in designated areas only, so those of us who do not smoke will not inhale the scent of second-hand smoke in our lungs, clothing and bodies. It is a fact that second-hand smoke is dangerous — just visit the website, http://www.cancer.org/Cancer/CancerCauses/TobaccoCancer/secondhand-smoke

and read all about it:

“Secondhand smoke (SHS) is also known as environmental tobacco smoke (ETS). SHS is a mixture of 2 forms of smoke that come from burning tobacco:

    • Sidestream smoke – the smoke that comes from the end of a lighted cigarette, pipe, or cigar

and

  • Mainstream smoke – the smoke that is exhaled by a smoker

Even though we think of these as the same, they aren’t. The sidestream smoke has higher concentrations of cancer-causing agents (carcinogens) than the mainstream smoke. And, it contains smaller particles than mainstream smoke, which make their way into the body’s cells more easily.

When non-smokers are exposed to SHS it is called involuntary smoking or passive smoking.Non-smokers who breathe in SHS take in nicotine and other toxic chemicals just like smokers do. The more SHS you are exposed to, the higher the level of these harmful chemicals in your body.”

The morning after the competition, even though I showered, washed my hair and clothing, I still smelled smoke in my lungs and I tasted it.

Let us hope that if there is another competition, the finals will be held at a local non-smoking bar in Charleston! After all, it is the Twenty-first Century!

 

On My Soapbox!

What is The Deal With the Do Not Call List???


I suppose I will start writing all of these phone calls down…I am definitely getting tired of my phone ringing, almost off the hook. Yesterday, we had about six phone calls from telemarketers. Today, I have answered the phone four times at 10am Eastern Time. Only one call was from my husband, the rest — the bloody telemarketers.

I’ve won a free cruise. Joy! I’ve won a free alarm system for my home. Joy Two! I’ve won a free recipe book. Joy Three! I have a library filled with cook books. Don’t need anymore! Another phone call was from a fraternity for police officers. They are non-profit, so they are exempt from the Do Not Call List.

We signed up for the Do Not Call List when it was developed. Every year, I upgrade our phone numbers on the list, and still I get this idiotic phone calls. I’ve been diplomatic. I’ve been firm, and on many occasions, my Julia Sugarbaker style kicks in. Oh, and I must not forget the thousands of phone calls from “Rachel.” The conversation is an automated one where she states something to the effect of:

“Hi this is Rachel. This is my final phone call to you to let you know you can save money on your credit cards. Now don’t hang up…”

I’ve blocked her number. What does idiotic Rachel do? She uses a different number and almost daily I get a phone call from Rachel! I want to choke Rachel!

Just what do we, as consumers who are sick and damned tired of these revolting, annoying phone calls do? Yesterday, when I answered a friendly voice responded, “Hi. My name is…”

I interrupted her. “Oh, let me guess. You are a telemarketer telling me about an exciting cruise, or an alarm system, or a lower credit card rate…So tell me…not that I really care, but WHAT IS YOUR NAME?”

She hung up. I suppose she got the message. My husband heard that conversation, telling me I was so rude. I turned towards him.

“That’s it. Next time the phone rings, you can answer it! I’m done with these idiotic, rude, and just a little too friendly and pushy telemarketers! Have at it, Phil. You can fall for their tricks of the trade.”

The phone rang six times that day. I think Phil got the message…He doesn’t jump to answer the phone anymore and neither do I!

Hello, Rachel…I’m certain I’ll hear from you again, only this time — I have a nice message for you! May the sun set and may you lose the ability to ever speak or dial a phone number ever again! Of course, I’m not stupid or naive enough to believe that Rachel is a real person. She is an automated voice recording and I hope and pray that soon Rachel will be retired — FOREVER!

So much for the Do Not Call List!

Hawaii, Travel Writing

Welcome to Hawaii – Day Five and Beyond – Hawaii Is Like A Dream Come True!


Monday, August 20, 2012 – Sorry for the delay in sharing my astonishing dreams about Hawaii. I’ve been just a bit busy lately with several assignments to do, rehearsals for a show at the Charleston Elks Lodge, more assignments – unexpected, but so welcome, and of course, getting all the photographs I took of Hawaii printed. I had over 503++ photographs to print and I must say, my new camera certainly performed well. When Phil looked at some of the photographs, he actually complimented my photography skills. How nice!

Additional events that have kept me busy lately:

A few weeks ago I was selected as a ‘qualifier’ for the Lowcountry Karaoke Idol Contest in Charleston. For this part of the competition I sang, “At Last.” The club finals for Manhattan’s Bar & Grill were Friday, August 17, 2012. I’ve practiced my song [“I Who Have Nothing”] to make certain I knew it and could hit the notes. Piece of cake! Tom Jones is one of my favorites and I sing his songs all the time! At the competition, I was as calm as a cucumber, but I did check out the competition! Four guys, three girls will compete, and I knew one of them! I was a bit concerned because she and I are great friends and I will do nothing to jeopardize our friendship! After all, great friends (especially women!) are so hard to find. The clock was ticking…10pm and the competition begins! I listened and watched the singers, paying attention to see if they were getting into the performance. Many of them looked at the monitor – silly, don’t you know you are SUPPOSED to lose points IF you look at the monitor! Several singers were not too bad! Finally, my name was called. I grabbed the microphone, and turned away from the monitor! I confess, when I’m singing, it is a performance and I am totally focused on what I am doing. I did not notice if I had the attention of the crowd or not. I just belted out my tune, moving and grooving with the audience. Much to my surprise, I was selected for second place. The score was 66-64 and if the first place finalist is unable to represent Manhattan’s for the City Finals, then I will perform. C’est la vie! Story of my life! I suppose second place isn’t too bad – after all, it’s karaoke – except I love performing!!!

An additional surprise occurred while jet lag was refusing to leave me. Early one morning, I checked e-mail, receiving an invitation to attend a press trip to Aruba. I read the itinerary and invitation well, letting it rest on my desk while I debated about it. The press trip was less than two weeks away. Not enough time for me to query publications about story ideas. Since I’ve never been to Aruba, I declined the invitation, requesting a rain check. My rule is to at least have query letters out to publications before attending a trip. Gosh, how I wanted to go!

BACK TO HAWAII

Waikiki Beach

Today, our discussions will include additional events on Phil’s birthday – July 8, 2012 — evening events, walking to International Market Place, along with the characters we met, the street performers, and other interesting characters.

We had a nice day traveling around Honolulu, admiring the breathtaking beauty and views, the coastal highway, searching for whales, which we never found, and the amazement of Blow Hole. How I wanted to sneak a rock, shell, or something unique that I could stash in my suitcase, but I was fearful that I would get caught, so when I found something, I simply let it slip through my hands. No lava rocks to take home. No sea shells. Nothing from within the lava foundations, the sea, or within the depth of the ocean. After all, I remember that silly form I signed before departing the American Airlines plane to enter beautiful Hawaii. I suppose I am just a bit too honest for my own good. If someone asked me if I am carrying something I shouldn’t, my eyes would give me away. I suppose I will never be a good liar! Besides, according to some of the legends of Hawaii, if you remove a lava rock, you are destined for bad luck – and I’ve had more than my share of bad life in my lifetime!

Breathtaking View along the Coastal Highways

Lava rocks and the mountains are truly amazing to look at while riding along the coast. To the left, your eyes admire the unique shape of the mountains. To the right, your eyes stare at the glittering iridescent blue ocean, the white caps slapping gently on the beaches and coastline. While I’ve always had an incredible passion for oceans, nothing compares or equals the turquoise waters I admire as we travel along the coast. I pinch myself. Please God, if I’m dreaming, never let this dream end.

A few hours later we head back to the hotel. We are tired now, ready to relax and walk along Kalakaua Avenue. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VyyHaVPWj0k  The sun is setting now as we walk. I am amazed at the wide sidewalks on Waikiki Beach. There are hundreds of people walking, but no one bumps into Phil or me and no one has a cell phone glued to their ears. In Charleston, people appear not to be able to walk unless a cell phone dangles from their ears, and they shout their supposedly private conversations into their phones, so the entire world can hear the latest one-sided gossip. Who cares!

INTERNATIONAL MARKET PLACE

International Market Place is only a three block walk from our hotel. Dressed in shorts and a Hawaiian print shirt, with my Shape-Ups on my feet, I am ready for the business of shopping. I admit it. I hate shopping. Rarely do I find anything I want and I am a bargain hunter. Working in retail establishments for many years, I know how much items are marked up for profit, so I tell myself to look for bargains, or appear not to love an item too much. I want to barter!

While walking I notice the designer shops. Many of them I’ve never heard of. I live on a budget so these shops look wonderful and oh so tempting, but I would probably be flabbergasted by the price tags. I choose not to go inside.

We approach the entrance of International Market Place. Merchants are everywhere. Pleasant to the shoppers, the culture of Hawaii has taught the merchants how to charm and approach them. They nod their heads to everyone, speaking to a few, probably in hopes of making a big sale. I stop at several jewelry booths. OK, I admit it…I am a jewelry fanatic! I admire the coral, shells, the beautiful lei’s. All the jewelry is so beautiful. I honestly do not know where to start!

International Market Place has changed dramatically since I visited it during our R&R. There are many specialty shops now. No matter what you are looking for in Hawaii, you will find it along Kalakaua Avenue. One thing to remember is to ask for a better price at the Market Place. Almost every merchant I approached was willing to negotiate with me. There was one shop where the shopkeeper said, “If you don’t like that price on the sticker, you will not find a better price around Kalakaua Avenue.” I left her shop without purchasing anything.

I can truly say, International Market Place is one of my favorite places to shop, because I can negotiate. After all, my trip to Hawaii was planned in less than twenty-four hours and I had no time to get to the bank for additional funds. Thank goodness. I could’ve spent a small fortune.

A wood carving artist at International Market Place

Headed back to Hyatt Regency Waikiki, the street vendors and entertainers are out. I snap a few shots of an Elvis wanna be, a man dressed in newspaper, another guy dressed in gold lame, and an interesting floral archway where a woman was inside with only her beautiful face exposed.

Only one of the many interesting street performers in Honolulu

By now the streets are filled with pedestrians. Much to my surprise, everyone moves without pushing or shoving, and everyone uses crosswalks. While we walked across the street onto an area filled with additional hotels, we stop at a park, pet a dog and decide we will cross the street in the middle of the roadway. A police officer sees us standing along the middle of the sidewalk. I reach for Phil’s hand as cars rush by. I have a phobia of crossing busy streets, reminding Phil he must hold my hand tightly if we cross here. [I was hit by a drunk driver when I was nine-years-old, suffering a severe concussion.] I’ve never been able to cross busy streets without shaking since then.

The police officer has stopped, watching us. “That’s not a cross walk,” he shouts in our direction. I jerk my hand from Phil. “We can’t cross here. There must be a cross walk somewhere.”

We thank the police officer and move towards the traffic light. After we cross, the police officer nods to us. No doubt he was ready and waiting to give us a jaywalking ticket, but we followed his advice. After all, I really did not want to spend a night in the jail! Can you imagine – Phil and I arrested for jaywalking and spending the night in a jail? How dreadful!

After we get back to the hotel, we hop in the car headed to Ala Moana Shopping Center.

ALA MOANA SHOPPING CENTER

Years ago, we spent lots of money at Ala Moana Shopping Center. We were so young and carefree and our time in Hawaii was ticking away quickly. In two days, he would catch a flight back to Vietnam. When a lovely lady at the hotel we stayed at suggested shopping at Ala Moana, we spent a day there, looking at shops, admiring all the merchandise. Phil found a double-breasted jacket [yes, they were the style back then]. I took him inside, and we bought it. I didn’t care if he didn’t get to wear it very much. He wanted it. Money wasn’t an object. I wanted his memories of our first trip to Hawaii – our honeymoon – to be something to remember!

Now, Ala Moana Shopping Center is filled with all sorts of specialty shops and restaurants. Many of these shops are designer shops. If you are looking for something unique and special, Ala Moana is the place to find it! http://www.alamoanacenter.com/Center-Information/Hours-Directions.aspx I found three pairs of shoes. Just how I would get them home was a concern, but I could not pass them up! Shoes are my weakness!

Exhausted from a full day, we decided to dine at Blazin Steaks http://www.blazinwaikiki.com/ After dinner, we rush back to our room to watch a movie. My time in Hawaii is slowly ticking away and I am so sad to see it ending. Please, if I am dreaming, Never let me awaken from this dream!

Aloha!

Uncategorized

Todd Akin is an Imbecile!


This will probably be the shortest post I’ve done. I am still so annoyed while listening to the idiotic words of Todd Akin’s comment about “legitimate rape” his words were absolutely deplorable — so insulting and degrading to women. What a brilliant republican he is — NOT! Rape is never “legitimate!” NEVER…EVER…EVER…!

Todd Akin should hang his head in shame and hide away from America. He has truly insulted women!

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/with-todd-akins-rape-comments-abortion-is-back-in-the-campaign-spotlight/2012/08/20/c497bae4-eac7-11e1-a80b-9f898562d010_story.html

 

Hawaii, Travel Writing

Welcome to Hawaii – Day Four — Off to Diamond Head, Blow Hole


Sunday, July 8, 2012 — Phil’s birthday. Today, he is taking the day off so we can play tourist in Hawaii. We have plans to drive to Diamond Head, and travel on the coastal highways to find Nakalele Point Blowhole, not only in search of Blow Hole, but whales!

The morning started like all the mornings have since I arrived on Thursday afternoon. Overcast, gray clouds, bursting into circles of radiant sun peeping through the circles, teasing the skyline with morning. Every morning I rush to the balcony while Phil snores. I open the balcony door with my camera ready to capture the breaking morning sunshine and clouds. I didn’t buy Phil a birthday card after I arrived, thinking his birthday card that I mailed on Monday would make it for his birthday. It is Sunday and still it hasn’t arrived. I suppose mail is just a bit slow here. Maybe I should’ve sent him an electronic birthday card via e-mail. Oh well. All that matters is the fact that we are together on his birthday.

Last night at Paradise Cove his birthday was mentioned – not personally, but a group “Happy Birthday” to all in attendance celebrating birthdays.

The evening sunset at Paradise Cove

I rush around, getting dressed for our first full day together since I arrived. After I am dressed, hair styled, makeup on, I awaken Phil. He moans. Silly guy. The older he gets, the more (and later) he sleeps. At home, he will sleep until noon. If he does that here, he’ll find himself all alone. I simply am not spending the entire morning in a hotel room! There’s too much to do, and if I have to walk, no problem. I am accustomed to walking!

Finally, I persuade Phil to get up. He appears to be in a grumpy mood. No surprise…he can certainly be a ‘grumpy ole man’ when he wants to be!

After he is dressed he inquires as to what we are doing today. I mention Diamond Head and I remind him that we need to set the GPS for BlowHole and other coastal locations. To be honest, my GPS (TomTom version 2.8) does not work well here in Hawaii! When I typed in Wal-Mart, it could not find it. Other locations I searched for, Mr. TomTom simply did not locate. This created a bit of stress with Phil and I so now, I will go down to the concierge’s desk to get directions. I do not wish to fight on my Paradise vacation! If Phil gets on my nerves, I’ll simply escape and go on my own!

After getting directions, off we go. Phil has a rental car – a SMALL Volkswagen that is uncomfortable! Nevertheless, we must use the car today. I struggle to buckle the passenger seatbelt. I have an extremely weak left wrist that does not flex easily so it is a battle to buckle and I have to use my right hand. Finally buckled, we are off. Perhaps I should write an automobile review about this car. On second thought, perhaps not! It is not comfortable! Yes, it has lots of get up and go, but comfort I don’t think the engineers considered, at least not for the passenger. The parking garages in this hotel, Hyatt Regency Waikiki, are a tight squeeze. Mirrors are placed in the corners so we can see approaching cars. I hold my breath in anticipation, fearful that some fruitcake in a hurry might hit us as we approach the exit. One thing I have noticed in the bit of time I’ve been in Hawaii – people do not appear to be in such a hurry, like they are in Charleston!

Phil and I have lived in Charleston since the early 1970’s. We’ve watched the growth in the areas, especially in Mt. Pleasant. A population of 10,000 when we moved to Mt. Pleasant, now the city has over 60,000+ residents. To say we are overcrowded is an understatement. I’ve seen many people lose their tempers in traffic. Road rage! Now, as I think about drivers in Charleston, I remind myself that I am in Honolulu, where people appear to be much nicer! Just maybe we will not have an accident inside a garage!

Right on cue, a car approaches. He stops. Waves to us. This would not happen in Charleston! Drivers would show the index finger, instead! I spoke with my pet sitter earlier, recognizing when it is 8am here, it is 2pm in Charleston. Sandy has reassured me the pups are fine and Shadow, my newest and youngest is rebelling by shredding the puppy papers on the floor! He’s also attempted to shred a rug on the breakfast room floor. Suppose I’ll need to trash it when I get home. Shadow is less than a year old so he is full of energy. He leaps like a deer, or a leap frog, jumping high into the air. He’s bumped my nose many times, and when he does, my entire head feels like it will burst. I must remember to block him and use the water bottle more often, just to make him realize he must behave. Puppies are a barrel of fun, along with a barrel of trouble!

We exit the garage. Mister TomTom directs our way, along with the print out from the concierge’s office. I do not trust TomTom. He’s disappointed me many times previously! When I get back to Charleston, I will upgrade it to get the latest roads and highways. Such a pain! Normally when I travel, I have a printed Google map with me, to compare the directions, but after attempting without success to locate Wal-Mart in Honolulu, I realize my GPS is almost an antique!

I watch the highways while Phil drives, reading the signs, attempting to pronounce the roads, without much success! We make a turn, finding the Honolulu Elks Lodge. “We need to come back and drop by the Elks Lodge before we leave,” I tell Phil. He grumbles. I’m certain we’ll never drop by. Phil doesn’t like going to places where he doesn’t know anyone. Just how we connected so many years ago is beyond me. I am gregarious and love making a statement when I enter a room. Phil loves to blend in. We are such opposites! Maybe I was a bit desperate at the time.

Admiring the View Before Diamond HeadWe are headed to Diamond Head. Now I really regret how I forgot to pack my “Things to Do in Honolulu” print out that is still resting on my printer – at home! I struggled to login to my computer at the hotel, but it would not allow me. I reminded Phil to do a print out from the list and he of course will “do it later.” Funny! Later never arrives. He is the king of procrastination, not to mention a pain___! So off we go, without a plan, with exception of the printed directions we have from the concierge’s desk. Oh well. My prayers are that we do not snap at each other while struggling to find our way. I’ve concluded Mr. Tom Tom does not like me, and neither does the other GPS I had but tossed away!

Now, we’re following a path where gorgeous homes within beautiful gates are on the roadway. I do believe you must be rich to live in Hawaii! These homes make me so envious, but when I go back to reality, I’ll be thankful for what I have. At least, I hope!

We continue our route, I am the navigator. Phil is the driver. Thank goodness he is not using that stupid I-phone GPS again. I think I’d grab it from his hand and toss it out the window if he pulled that stunt again. Before long, we hit the highway. I see mountains in the distance with lava rock. Diamond Head is just ahead. We pull over at an observation area and I step out to photograph the view. Words cannot describe all that I see, but it is truly a blessing just to inhale the fresh air, the gusty winds and to be thankful that I am having the opportunity to make another dream come true – another dream back to Hawaii and I am enjoying every moment. The mountains, and there are many! Take Diamond Head for instance. Considered one of the younger mountains of Honolulu, history states that it erupted quickly. The view from Diamond Head is gorgeous, although we turned back due to traffic. Regretting it now, I have made a promise to myself that the next time we go to Honolulu, one of the mountains we will visit is Diamond Head. I simply cannot wait to take pictures on Diamond Head. Silly me. Just why did I suggest that we turn around and head to Blow Hole? Sometimes I can be such a dummy!

Blow Hole has a special meaning to Phil and I. We saw it on our first tour of Honolulu, when we were newlyweds. Much to my surprise, I do not remember the beautiful scenic highway leading to Blow Hole that we are traveling on now. There are several observation points to stop and take photographs and we are hopping in and out of the car. On one observation point, I decided to get a bit gutsy and hike a bit. Phil discouraged me, but he knows me well. I simply would not listen to him. So off I go, clicking photographs, looking for whales, hoping that we will see one. Stopping to admire the view, I squeal – probably like a teenager. In the distance I see a lighthouse. Of course I had to get closer.

“Be careful,” Phil shouts. “You know how clumsy you are.”

“Ah-hush. Today I wore the proper shoes – my shapeups!”

I continued my hike until I came to an area that was forbidden. There I stood, taking several shots of the lighthouse. How I wanted to cross the path and get closer, but Phil would come after me. Fussing and grumbling!

Back in the car, we continue looking for Blow Hole. The view along the coastal drive to Blow Hole is truly amazing. It’s like I am traveling along the route to Heaven, and I’ve never been to Heaven. Not yet! Lava rocks are on the mountains. The pictures I am taking truly speak for themselves, so I suppose I’ll have to stop blogging and let my readers admire the beauty. Now, if only I could see a whale.

My next blog will discuss our evening events, walking to International Market Place, along with the characters we met, the street vendors and singers. How I wanted to join them in a tune!

Enjoy the photographs!

There She Blows!

 

Music Notes, Zumba and More Ways to Work Out

Top 10 Workout Songs – August 2012


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

The Top 10 Workout Songs For August

Fort Wayne, IN – August 2, 2012 – If you were working on a workout music time capsule—trying to show future generations what folks listened to in the gym in 2012—the highlights from August alone would nearly do the trick.

In this month’s top 10, running favorites LMFAO, Flo Rida, and Pink all made appearances.Pitbull turned up twice—once in a remix and once with Shakira.And, the year’s two biggest hits (“Call Me Maybe” and “Somebody That I Used to Know”) were both reinvented as club tracks.

Here’s the full list, according to votes placed at Run Hundred–the web’s most popular workout music blog.

Flo Rida – Whistle – 103 BPM

Pitbull & Shakira – Get It Started – 129 BPM

The Wanted – Chasing the Sun – 129 BPM

Calvin Harris & Ne-Yo – Let’s Go – 130 BPM

Pink – Blow Me (One Last Kiss) – 113 BPM

Owl City & Carly Rae Jepsen – Good Time – 126 BPM

Pitbull – Back in Time (Play-N-Skillz Remix) – 128 BPM

Carly Rae Jepsen – Call Me Maybe (Coyote Kisses Remix) – 124 BPM

LMFAO – Sorry for Party Rocking (Wolfgang Gartner Remix) – 130 BPM

Gotye & Kimbra – Somebody That I Used to Know (Tiesto Remix) – 129 BPM

To find more workout songs, folks can check out the free database at RunHundred.com. Visitors can browse the song selections there by genre, tempo, and era—to find the music that best fits with their particular workout routine.

On My Soapbox!

Sirius XM Radio Sent Me a Survey!


Recently you requested personal assistance from SIRIUS XM.

Below is a summary of your request and our response.

 Subject
Sirius   XM Requests Your Feedback
   
 Response   To Your Inquiry (SiriusXM Customer Care)

08/02/2012 11:35 PM

Dear   Ms. Cooper,

Thank you for contacting SiriusXM regarding your Customer Care experience.

Please accept our sincere apology for the previous encounter over the phone   and we hope that this incident will not permanently affect our partnership.   Our objective is to provide excellent service to all our subscribers and our   Listener Care Representatives are adequately trained to assist customers with   the issues. We are saddened to learn that you were not pleased with the   service you received, but we can assure you that our representatives will   convey the Company’s guidelines in a polite and friendly manner. Please keep   in mind that your concern is a priority and we value you as a customer.

We guarantee you that our team does not take pleasure in embarrassing or   distressing a customer. All of our customers are appreciated and each   subscriber plays an active role in the growth of SiriusXM. This issue will be   forwarded to the relevant department and your concerns will be investigated.   This will, hopefully, further enhance the service which we provide.

We hope you continue to enjoy SiriusXM’s commercial-free music and   entertainment programming. We are committed to providing you with the best in   listener care. If you have any questions, feel free to reply to this email.   You can always manage your account online 24/7 by clicking
www.siriusxm.com/myaccount

Thank you,

Rose
SiriusXM Listener Care

My reply:

Thank you for the reply, Rose. Never is it easy to inquire about anything with Sirius XM Radio, but this experience was truly something that annoyed me to the highest!

If you, Or Anyone, check our records you will note my husband DID have an account for his 2008 Jeep, but it WAS moved into my account when I activated my new car, after the three months of free service, on, or before June 4, 2012.

My husband, Phillip DID HAVE AN ACCOUNT. His account was paid thru his debit card until May of this year. How all of this got so confusing and incorrect is beyond me. No, I did not get the names of the people who spoke with me. Besides, they ARE ALWAYS from India, the Philippines, or somewhere else and it is difficult to understand MOST of them. If my husband didn’t have an account, may I inquire as to HOW HE GOT SERVICE AND WAS ABLE TO PLAY SIRIUS RADIO BEFORE I ACTIVATED MINE???

Yes, I am frustrated. My husband should not have to ‘deactivate’ his radio…go to channel 1 – which does not exist – and I should not be inconvenienced any longer. To be honest, I am seriously considering deactivating mine, just to make a statement.

Whatever happened to customer service in America? And – why can’t we as Americans speak with customer service reps that are in America, not outsourced to another country, with broken English who refuse to service us with a pleasant attitude. The real kicker was when He demanded to speak to my husband. I am not a second class citizen in America…I am an American woman who can communicate, either via phone, or with my words.

Thank you!

Barbie Perkins-Cooper

On My Soapbox!

Here I Go Again — My Julia Sugarbaker Style with Sirius/XM Radio


Suppose I will write this while my fingernails are seething, along with my ears, head and all that I have. If you could look at me, you might even see smoke escaping from my head. I am so annoyed! So irritated, and oh so — well, let’s don’t go there. I’ll attempt being nice since my diplomatic nature has the tendency to kill with kindness — Julia Sugarbaker Style! If my fingernails were not polished, I’d probably be nibbling them to the bone, and that is not something I like to do.

What? You might be asking? Just what is it that is pushing my buttons…Are you ready — here goes!

While filing bills, etc. I decided to review my credit card bills, noticing two months of charges for two Sirius/XM radios.  I only own one car. Yes, my husband has a Sirius radio too, but his bill is separate from mine and I shouldn’t be charged twice a month for one bill. At least, I thought. Silly me!

So, here’s the story. I phoned Sirius radio to resolve the issues. Big mistake. Really a big mistake!!! When I got a male on the phone who had difficulty with English, I requested to speak to someone in America. Well…that didn’t work…he was overseas and not certain how to get an American. So much for speaking to an American. Understand please, I am all for immigration, but I’m also against outsourcing American jobs overseas and that is why I requested “American.” In America, we need jobs! Reluctantly, I gave up, shared my suspicions…account number…address…last four digits of my account…my home phone number…etc. and on and on. I wanted to ask if he wanted a blood or DNA sample too!

So, on we go, for over one hour to resolve the issues. I bought a new car in March with a three-month free subscription. When I went to cancel my old account with XM Radio to establish my new car and the subscription — well — apparently the party on the other end decided to activate my husband’s Sirius account with mine. We have separate cars…separate accounts…separate credit cards… What is the problem.

On and on I go, like someone trapped on an endless spinning wheel getting no where. My husband’s account didn’t exist… Oh please! Then the real issue was when this imbicle requested to speak to my husband!

I was so angry I walked outside and screamed. My neighbors probably know why…she’s on a roll again! My dogs quickly got out of my way!

To make a long story short, I got nothing from Sirius, with exception of being placed on hold/speaking to someone else/then getting disconnected.

How convenient!

Frustrated, I called the credit card company. Seems it will take about six weeks but I will get a credit issued to my account!  It will be interesting to see if my husband’s Sirius radio is cancelled today, like the customer service reps suggested. I dare them!

Also, I dare them to send me a survey via e-mail. This blog should do the trick to my reading public.

According to the credit card company, they’ve had many complaints about the billing with Sirius Radio. If you have an account, maybe you should review your bills for several months, especially if you have additional people living in your home with cars.

To say the least, I am livid! Seriously considering canceling Sirius Radio!

I inhale. Exhale. I feel better, but I’ll make certain this information is shared with others, including all of my friends. After all, I’ve been told I am not a woman to cross or argue with. I suppose it is my Southern Julia Sugarbaker style! When I see something that is wrong, I stand up and become an advocate.

And now, I shall step of my soapbox and open a bottle of wine! Have a great evening!