Saturday, December 23, 2006

Live Giant Squid Caught on Tape

And now it's dead. Reuters reported yesterday that Japanese scientists released a video showing a relatively small giant squid (3.5 meters or 11 feet 6 inches for those of metric-challenged) being reeled in. It's the largest ever captured on video and apparently, the largest caught alive.

The team leader of the scientific research team, Tsunemi Kubodera is quoted as saying, "Nobody has ever seen a live giant squid except fishermen."

Well guess what? No one else is going to see this giant squid alive because now it's dead in the name of research (but can you imagine the calamari?)

Do we really need to kill things in order to understand how they live? Wouldn't more value come from studying behaviour than dissection?

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Top 10 Celebrity Babies of 2006

There were so many celebrity babies in 2006. Hollywood super couple and do-gooders Angelina and Brad introduced us to Shiloh while "TomKat" gave us Suri and even former Playboy Playmate now blond train wreck bore us a child who we're still trying to figure who's the father. I compiled a list of the top 10 celebrity babies of 2006, see who made it here.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Things On My Mind

Yes, I know I need to write about my little adventures over the past year, but that's not the focus of this post.

But first, while I have your attention, I'd like to introduce you to "The Barefoot" and his blog. Once you read one of his posts, you'll be hooked! He has a sharp, witty (sometimes dark) sense of humor about every day life. Visit the Barefoot - you won't be disappointed!

Earlier this month on NPR, an Army soldier who served in Iraq was being interviewed about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and stated he was quite confident it didn't exist. He said those soldiers who complained of it were making it up and using it to avoid returning to the battle field.

My thoughts? First, if making up a disorder that the military recognizes and gets one outta Hell's path, then let these soldiers claim PTSD. Secondly, I suspect it is an authentic mental illness; something like a seed that's settled deep in those prone to depression. If that person happens to go to war, that seed of depression sprouts, or set off by some other trigger. Any other thoughts? Does PTSD exist?

Also on my mind, CNN ran a special over the weekend titled something like, "One Paycheck Away." Focusing how many Americans live paycheck to paycheck, then asked the question "why?" I didn't stay up late enough to see the reasons, but throwing in my precious two cents, we're a "need it now" and service-orientated society. We are bombarded with must-have things we can't live without.

We women need at least a dozen shoes to get through six months of a year, need a purse to coordinate with each pair of shoes and a six shades of lipstick to pull everything together. The message to "buy" is all around us. We don't buy what we need, we buy what we want.

Look at Christmas. We end up buying things and usually not spending money wisely, just to give "something." Remember in the "old days" when we actually waited for Christmas to receive that special something? These days, what we want, we gotta have it right away - and end up getting more at Christmas.

We also like to be pampered and will pay for the service of convenience- it's amazing what people will pay for these days. At lunch yesterday, a car wash service company was in the office parking lot washing someone's car. It's nice to have conveniences, but they come at a price.

I'm guilty, too. Getting my fix out of life through seeking out one-of-a-kind experiences. If I had enough limit on my credit cards, I'd plop a deposit down to be on Sir Richard Branson's first trip to space.

But why are we like this? Are our lives so empty we need to fill it with "stuff?"

Monday, December 18, 2006

Rachael Ray in Atlanta

The Queen of Quick made an appearance in Atlanta yesterday and I decided to make an overnight trip out of it. After all, I need to have that one special "wow" gift for Christmas. The little tale about my journey will be posted this week - maybe (I haven't been so good lately about documenting my trips). But read more about Rachael Ray's Atlanta appearance here.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

A Week in the Life of QK Girl

It's been a busy week, especially with an off-site work retreat for a couple of nights. Since so much is happening, I'll post a few photos of a visit to the Suwanee River, White Springs, Fla. and Flagler Beach. Well, you're not going to really recognize White Springs or Flagler Beach. We had some interesting meals in each of those cities.

We grazed the buffet of home-cooked meals at the Telford Hotel in White Springs. Chicken pot pie and red velvet cake, mmm, mmm! Definitely in the South.

In Flagler Beach, we pulled into a motel parking lot saying, "this can't be the Blue Topaz." We were told no jeans were allowed. But surprisingly, a delicious little upscale restaurant is in the center of a funky old hotel, decorated with antiques, treasures from the past and plain old junk. More on that another time.

In my writing world, I was surprised to see that my interview with the Queen of Sky is eligible for a nice prize from AC. I'm honored to be considered, but really don't think I have a chance at winning. But a gal can hope, right? Even though, it's very cool to be "nominated." Wonder what I need to wear on awards day???

And don't miss my latest interview, that with a young tennis pro named Jennifer Magley who turned a breakup into a cool Web site devoted to breaking up, making up and moving on. My favorite thing on her site? An upcoming auction to sell gifts given by old flames!

In my personal world, been thinking about my New Years Resolutions and compiling a "best QK Girl posts of 2006." We'll see how that will come along.

My sister sent this to me, cute. Insert your picture of that of a loved one for that customized scene.

In one week I'll be in Buffalo, brrr. Can't believe Christmas is here! OK, gotta run, going to see Rachael Ray tomorrow so need to get ready. Enjoy the images.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Glad I Don't Have Kids (or an Xbox)

Have you seen this??? The big-headed plastic freak (aka: Burger King) has teamed up with Microsoft to create three Xbox games for the holiday season, at $3.99 each. I found some commentary on the games, pretty funny. And glad I'm not alone in thinking the King is creepy. Apparently in one of the games, the King sneaks up on unsuspecting, hungry citizens. Sounds a bit stalkish to me. Read this review.

I do have to commend Microsoft and BK for cross-marketing, though. If the King wasn't such a freak, this would be a really groovy move.

Word to Scammers: I May Be Slow, But I Ain't Stupid

"Hi, my name is Bob and I live in apartment #319 in the building behind you. I need to talk to 100 people in my neighborhood to work on my social skills and earn points to go to college."

If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's a duck.

I had a visitor at lunchtime, a scammer trying to pull the magazine-point scam on me. Have you heard about it? Young adults pretending to be high school seniors are dropped off in neighborhoods and go door-to-door claiming they need to raise points through selling magazines through working on communication skills. People who have given their credit card numbers have had unauthorized charges. Anyway, I won't bore you with the details, but this is the only pic I snapped of "Bob" who lives in fictitious apartment #319.

Beta, Baby!

I've been waiting to upgrade this blog to beta and I finally got the go ahead today. Yippee!! So bare with me as I figure out what beta actually means, I know all the cool kids are talking about it :)

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Achoo! A Cold is Lingering

My body is telling me to slow down because a nasty cold is lingering. Not sure if it has anything to do with the change in temperatures, but I am very happy that real we're experiencing a real, North Florida winter. Just a little bit of nip in the air and sunny, blue skies.

My comfort food when suffering through a cold? Sushi, miso soup and OJ. I know - a strange combo. TheraFlu and Airborn get me through it all, too. I just hope I can sleep tonight - the last couple of nights have been rough - not because of the oncoming illness, because I have neighbors who believe "dance party USA" should happen every weeknight at 11 p.m., complete with bass. Yeah, community living SUCKS!

What else have I been up to? Holiday shopping is about done. Monday I took the day off and was a woman of leisure. Well, not really. I pretended it was a day if I was a full-time freelance writer. Got up at the usually o'dark-thirty (6:30), ran errands, wrote while waiting for errands to get done, shopped, returned home for more writing then off on a super power walk then more writing. Tuesday was back to reality. *sigh*

I did have a nice surprise yesterday. The AC site I contribute to had my interview with the Queen of Sky as last month's popular content in its monthly email. Pretty cool! Be sure to check it out.

I'd also like to introduce you to fellow AC/MySpace pal Erica, here's a story she wrote called "Going Against the Tide," about grunyons. I have to admit, I've never met or seen a grunyon. My only exposure to them is Jack talking about them on the television show "Three's Company." But, check out Erica's writings.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Freaks in the Fast Food World

My stomach is turning while watching ABC's 20/20. How STUPID can people be? The short of it is (you can read the complete story), an assistant manager of a Mount Washington, Kentucky McDonald's received a phone call from a man stating to be a law enforcement official. The caller said an employee at the restaurant had stolen a purse and the employee needed to be contained in the office until the police arrived.

In the meantime, the caller instructed the assistant manager to make the young employee (18 years old; technically an adult but YOUNG!) remove all of her clothing. Fast forward - the caller instructed the assistant manager to bring in her boyfriend (some big, fat old guy) to watch the young employee. The sickos (the caller and the big, fat old boyfriend) have the employee do jumping jacks naked, spanks her for at least 10 minutes and has her perform oral sex. This poor girl was contained for two hours. If it weren't caught on the security camera, no one would probably believe the story.

Turns out, incidents like this happened throughout the country. Other fast food restaurants received calls and managers acted on the caller's instructions, which included strip searching employees and in one reported case, performing a cavity search on a patron! Gives a whole new meaning to, "You want fries with that?"

Once again I ask, what kind of freaks are out there who think this is acceptable behavior???? I'm not just referring to the caller, but the mindless fast food managers who only see black and white. The McDonald's Employee Manual has a page basically stating no employee will be strip searched by any McDonald's staff member or law enforcement official.

The whiner Mount Washington former-assistant manager says she didn't know that was in the manual. It's probably because she can't read. I just CANNOT believe she's on 20/20. If she thought she'd be defending herself, she's only making herself look more like an idiot than an innocent victim.

Having spent about five years working in fast food, I've worked with some pretty dim-lit managers, but none of them would have fallen for this sick hoax.