55 minutes of utter bliss (until, of course, reality returned)

It’s been a few days since I’ve last posted here.  Not since I’ve last posted, mind you, as I’ve been posting all over the place at AskOwlbert.com … but since I’ve last posted HERE.

You know, I thought last Friday that I’d actually have time to indulge in my other pastimes.  :)   For 55 utterly blissful minutes, I really thought my life would be returning to normal!  And then inspiration struck…and I’ve haven’t been still since.

I seem to be swept up into a never-ending stream of tying everything together.  I had planned on returning to my beloved Kendo tomorrow and Wednesday, but alas, that’s not to be either.   Sigh.  Part of me really misses my adult self-defense/sparring/etc., and another part of me simply lacks the time/energy to focus on anything except my family/work. 

I do believe everything happens for a reason, and that what I’m currently going thru is meant to be.  What will come out of it….gosh, I really wish I knew!! 

More later,



Robot dogs to the rescue in nursing homes, dispelling loneliness

Fascinating article

over here:

Researchers at Saint Louis University in Missouri compared a 35-pound (16 kg), floppy-eared mutt named Sparky with AIBO, a far-from-lifelike robot dog, to see how residents of three U.S. nursing homes would respond.

"The most surprising thing is they worked almost equally well in terms of alleviating loneliness and causing residents to form attachments," said Dr. William Banks, a professor of geriatric medicine who worked on the study reported in the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association.

Banks said pets have been shown to help older people feel less isolated. "It really improves loneliness considerably," he said in a telephone interview.

But many senior citizens are too frail to care for a pet or have had to give up their own animals when they went to the nursing home. "They really miss that bond," he said….MORE….

The article goes on to say, both Sparky and the robot dog gave virtually equal the amount of comfort.

This can be a boon for nursing home residents, but truly….their families should show up as well to dispel the loneliness too. 


ps – Want a robot dog?

When kids get around parents

You know

I’m always big on holding strong on boundaries and making kids follow their responsibilities. 

But now that my kids are getting older, they’re realizing there’s one way to compel Mom to soften on her stance. 

It all happened this afternoon.  I was ready to get the kids to karate (advanced and sparring), when one of my kids suggested, hey Mom, let’s do the circle walk instead!

Now, this is a 2.4 mile walk.  It was raining and very windy outside; my kids know I adore walking in such weather.

But no, I was going to be tough with responsibilities!  Until, that is, said kid tickled the back of my neck.

It’s my weak spot!  I just can’t think straight when they do that.  :)   And I figured, okay, well, hmmm, a 2.4 mile circle was IS exercise, and we could always go to karate tomorrow, and and and …. and the end result: we went on the walk.  :)

Oh that was nice – the wind was fierce and the rains were lashing and my kid and I had a great conversation to boot.

Karate tomorrow – I promise!  :)



ps – want some nifty umbrellas to boot?

Danger Will Robinson – 10 dismal guys from whom you should dash away, dash away, dash away fast!


I just came across this clever compilation of 10 guy types that are guaranteed to make your life seem worse than the Black Death. It includes:

… One guy is needier than quicksand. Another is jealous of your cocker spaniel. A third quietly hates all womankind. Here’s a list of men you should put in your rearview mirror, ASAP.

Certain clues in the way a man acts may be a hint that you need to ditch him.

Joe No-Show
You meet in a city where neither of you lives, at a convention or a wedding. The calls and e-mails are making the phone lines sweat; two months later, he’s begging you to visit.

You tell the woman next to you on the plane that, after years of searching, you think you’ve met The One, and the two of you giggle with anticipation all the way to baggage claim.

Thirty minutes later, when the carousel stops going around, she looks at you with deep pity and asks if she can give you a ride somewhere. That’s the moment to go straight back to the ticket counter.

Mr. Jealousy
At first, he’ll get a little short with a waiter who flirts with you. Then he’ll be exasperated by how long you and the postmaster discuss the rising price of stamps. When he points out that you and your brother hug too long to be appropriate or that your gynecologist is a lesbian and obviously has the hots for you, it’s time to give him his walking papers.

However flattering his jealousies may seem in the first five minutes of your relationship, they’ll get old and confining more quickly than you can imagine, and when you do finally break up with him, he will hang the scarves you left behind on your trees like nooses and follow you and the next man you date all over town.

The Bully
This is the man who sits you down, grabs your arm, pulls your hair, or pokes your chest. While most of us know better than to let ourselves get socked in the mouth the way Ralph Kramden was always threatening to do to Alice (but even then never following through), there’s a whole universe of more “minor” infractions in the violence department that should disqualify your new beau instantaneously (but all too often does not).

The Two-Timer
For the first time since you’ve been dating, he’s too sick to make a date. You try to ignore the fact that it happens to be your birthday, and you assemble the ingredients for your famous chicken soup. You drop it off inside his door.

Two days later, he’s still sick, but you’ve been invited over. You ask if you can heat up some soup for him, and he says, in a small, congested voice, “That would be wonderful.” You pour the soup from the Tupperware into the pot, and you see that there are mushrooms in it. Your famous chicken soup doesn’t contain mushrooms. Conclude that this man has another source of soup and will continue to cheat on you for as long as you give him the chance….MORE….

I can add my own – the guy for whom his toys are not only life, they’re the reasons for being. Unless you’re a toy-girl too. :)



ps – want some love?

My child the rock star, her mother the Barry Manilow fan

I still

cannot fathom the following.

I am a logical, calm, dignified, utterly awesome mom with phenomenal musical taste. After all, Barry Manilow rules! Followed closely by, Maynard Ferguson, Chuck Mangione, the track of West Side Story and the like.

But! My utterly brilliant child….loves hard rock.

I have no idea where her genes got so, ahem, screwed up! While I will not allow rap into my house, I can’t find a real reason to forbid rock….and actually, as said kid uses it as a way to express herself, I’m rather proud that she’s forging her own path.

It would be so easy to try and change her…but if there’s one thing my 4 decades have taught me, it’s:

Better a spirit that rebounds….rather than one that breaks.

This is the kid, mind you, who had her hair streaked red on a whim. The kid whose favorite colors are black. The kid who is a straight A student, and the kid who always is open to learning from my experiences. Talk about a unique combination of qualities.

Parenting….it’s a hero’s journey. :)


ps – want Barry Manilow goodies?

“Mom, tattling on myself just isn’t cool!”

You know you’re a parent

when your precocious younger child tells you

“Mom, tattling on myself just isn’t cool!”

This conversation happened when my children were debating the merits of being the tale-bearer back to Mom. When I asked him, okay, if you feel an insane urge to tattle, just tattle on yourself, he gave me the above rather cute response.

Kids. Gotta love raisin’ em. :)



ps- some great parenting resources include:

Fat and Sexy by Mr. Spock – The Full Body Project


I just heard about Leonard Nimoy’s new book, The Full Body Project. Contrary to the majority of Hollywood icons, he promotes a healthier concept of just what makes a woman sexy.

To wit:

…Serious props go out to Leonard Nimoy for his book, The Full Body Project: Photographs by Leonard Nimoy. He is promoting a healthier vision of what makes a woman sexy. It’s a photography book that focuses on the larger sized woman.

He even had the cajones to go onto the Colbert Report and defend his book…MORE…

Kudos to Starling Fitness for reporting this!



ps – if you’re plus-sized, check out these goodies:

Diet Plans to Avoid Like The Plague


It’s always nice to see humor like the following:

…Ok, so maybe I pulled these titles out of my (ahem) caffeine-soaked mind, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see ‘em on Amazon.com, either:

  • The Thin (Mint Cookie) Diet
  • Diet Coke Diet [this is the one where 1 diet coke + 1 snickers bar = zero net calories]
  • Eat $&%@ and Die(t)
  • Double Whopper with Cheese Diet
  • If You Can’t Fry It, Don’t Buy It Diet
  • MORE!

Joe’s blog has bunches of great information as well – do yourself a favor and check it out.



ps – want some diet humor?