Pam Laux – Writer in Action!

Author of "PLUSH" and "Island of Lies"

I can now drop the word “aspiring” from Author!

October9

PLUSH is AVAILABLE on Amazon in both the Paperback Printed and Kindle versions.  It will be rolled out to Barnes and Noble Nook, iPad, Kobo, etc. over the next few weeks.

Don’t wait, BUY it NOW!! Woo Hoo!  What a journey.

If you search it, look for my name and the beautiful blonde on the cover, since there are several books named Plush available.

http://amzn.to/GGjwvH

The writing journey has been a fun and exciting adventure.  I’ll end this blog with an old joke from Anonymous.

 

A writer died and was given the option of going to heaven or hell.

 

She decided to check out each place first. As the writer descended into the fiery pits, she saw row upon row of writers chained to their desks in a steaming sweatshop. As they worked, they were repeatedly whipped with thorny lashes.

 

“Oh my,” said the writer. “Let me see heaven now.”

 

A few moments later, as she ascended into heaven, she saw rows of writers, chained to their desks in a steaming sweatshop. As they worked, they, too, were whipped with thorny lashes.

 

“Wait a minute,” said the writer. “This is just as bad as hell!”

 

“Oh no, it’s not,” replied an unseen voice. “Here, your work gets published.”

 

Order PLUSH now, the perfect Holiday gift!

What better book to read and enjoy during the TOY season, a suspenseful novel about a small town TOY manufacturer!

Do you like to read books in a printed or an e-book format?

Order in time for the Holidays!

Order in time for the Holidays!

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Build-A-Bear Recalls Plush Furry Stuffed Animal Toy Due to Choking Hazard

October3

Plush Blue furry creature , called Sulley, from the Monsters movies is being recalled because the stuffed animal’s eyes can detach, posing a choking hazard to young children. The Build-A-Bear stuffed monster is covered in blue furry fabric with purple spots, horn on its head and has blue eyes measuring about 1 inch in diameter. The stuffed monster is about 17 inches high and 10.5 inches wide. Tracking tush tag labels ending with 4384 or 4385 for USA and 4378 for Canada can be found on a sewn in label on the backside of the leg of the stuffed monster.

Consumers should immediately take the recalled Sulley from children and return it to any Build-A-Bear Workshop store to receive a coupon for any stuffed animal from Build-A-Bear Workshop.  Build-A-Bear Workshop stores and online at www.buildabear.com during June 2013 for about $23.

The Plush Toys are Manufactured in China
 As Dr Peter Shapiro, the fictitious character in PLUSH, would say to Henna his Siberian husky, “Hey Henna, parents need to play it safe, return the pint-sized animal,” he said with a snorted laugh.

Have you order you copy of PLUSH the novel yet? Check out Chapter 36 for more wacky comments from this madcap scientist.  Dr Shapiro may be a fictitious character but the above recall is NOT!  Please visit the Consumer Product Safety Web site for more details.

How to read the Tush Tag

 

 

 

 

 

Check out theToys labels to be sure!!

 

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Business versus Pleasure. Panama City Beach: The Guinness Book of World Record for The Largest Bikini Parade

March15

As an executive platinum, frequent flier, road warrior, I was travel proof.  Nothing slowed me down.  Then I traveled alone during Spring Break for pleasure.   My choice of destinations; Panama City Beach, Florida.  My Michigan-based sister lives in PCB through March.  This was the last weekend to see her before she returned up north.   So off I go to PCB alone.  Did I mention it was Spring Break? 

 

(Hey, why should the kids have all the fun?  While they dive into the rowdy party scene, I’ll be spring breaking like an adult…think; spa, golf, oceanfront chairs, great food, girlfriends)

 

As an executive biz traveler, I whisked through security priority lanes, never checked bags and often flew first-class.  For my pleasure trip, I traded my roller bag for a large checked luggage, flew on the cheapest flight (6 am ) and wore my highest platform heels on the plane to avoid taking up precious luggage space.  Big mistake.  

 

I arrived at the airport at 5 am.  Who knew so many people were going to Florida destinations this week, this day, this time? Why isn’t everyone stressed out waiting to check their supersized luggage? Pleasure travelers are a zillion times better at handling stress than business travelers are.   I remember the days when I traveled with kids, car seats, buggies and portable playpens.  Today I was solo.  Think I’m nuts? 

 

As a pleasure traveler, I left my traveling game face in my small roller bag at home.  Thank goodness, I flew Southwest, the friendliest airline out there.  The pilot even held our flight ten minutes, so everyone stuck in the long security lines could make the flight.   A young girl sat next to me and her dad said, “Don’t worry she doesn’t get sick that often.” 

 

Once I was settled in my seat, I heard rumors that my destination, PCB was hosting a large bikini parade in order to break the world’s record.   Am I insane?   I chose PCB for R&R – of course, I’m insane.

 

On biz trips, my flight ambassadors at 35,000 feet left me alone with my head buried in my laptop. On my pleasure trip, the flight attendants sang their pre-flight safety information in the tune of the Beverly Hillbillies theme song. 

 

On biz trips, the overhead compartments are neatly lined with roller bags, wheels first.  On my Florida plane, the overheads were crammed with colorful backpacks, skateboards and floppy hats.

 

As a biz traveler, there are very few decisions I have to make. I travel to a city to do my job and then leave.  Who cares about the hotel views?  I leave the hotel in the dark and return in the dark.  My window could face a brick wall and I’d never know.  As a pleasure traveler, it took ten minutes to decide, skyline? or sea?  Close to the pool? Or close to the beach?  Complimentary wine? Or spa pass?    UGH!

 

Sunrise before the Party

Once in PCB, I managed to relax and roll with it.  The bikini clad college spring breakers mostly hung out on the east side of the 23-mile beach.  I stayed on the west side.  But when groups wandered down to the west beach, they kept us entertained.

 

 

I even managed to miss the world’s largest bikini parade by a day.  (Oh darn)  They did, however break Australia’s record. You go PCB!

 

 

All and all, I loved my destination choice (thanks sis) and the weekend amongst the Spring Breakers. 

 

 After all, a crowded, rowdy day at the beach is better than a day at the office!

 

 

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posted under Fun, moms, travel | 1 Comment »

What I learned this week Spring Breaking

March14

What I learned this week from a not-so road warrior, an infrequent pleasure traveler.

•  My sister & I ran into a group of college boys wanting their photo taken on the beach. We told them we were sisters. One kid asked if we were twins. Without really answering him I said, “ I’m from Texas and she’s from Michigan”. He replied, “Then I guess you can’t be twins.”   Seriously?

•  While walking the beach we came across a football floating in the surf & a dozen boys yelling “Ball. Ball. Ball.” I retrieved the ball and tossed it to them, only to realize they hadn’t been playing catch. (I’ve seen that beer commercial.)

•  I learned that college spring breakers are a zillion times better at handling all nighters than adults are.

•  We ate lunch at Five Guys burgers where they give out free salted in-the-shell peanuts to eat while you wait for your food. A college kid filled his empty burger bag with peanuts, and announced “dinner.”

•  I learned I could never be a couch potato cause all that laying around the beach is a literal pain in the ass, unless I have a cocktail to hold.

•  I learned worrying and stressing out is only for grown-ups.

•  College kids think I was born in 1900. Seriously? I think they meant in this millennium. WTF?!

•  I learned that on the beach too many people need bigger bathing suits. Or cover ups.

•  I learned a beach vacation in paradise without good friends is like a cheeseburger without cheese.

•  I did what? …a supposedly fun thing I’ll never do again.

•  Good hair days typically only happen when you get pushed in the pool.

•  Accidentally drooling on yourself while at the beach is a good way to get people to stop talking to you.

•  I know, blah blah blah, go to the back of the line.

•  Bloating and cramping in a bathing suit is God’s way of saying, “Sucks to be you!”

•  Apparently, beer for breakfast is appropriate, unless you’re over thirty.

•  Panama City Beach Florida is known as “The Spring Break Capital Of The World” for a reason.

•  Every day on vacation seems to be a battle between whether to nap at the pool or nap at the beach.

•  Beer makes a cloudy beach day a little less cloudy.

•  If I ever turn up missing, a beach in Florida is most likely where you’ll find me.

•  I never fail to sit next to THE most annoying person on the longest leg of my flights.

•  Even with my single beer glasses on, these kids are way too young to talk to.

  • And now, without further condescension, check out the photos from this year’s record-breaking bikini parade.  JK.  Made you look though.

 

•  I learned that apparently my bikini bottoms can be worn inside out. Just sayin’.

 

I learned that a “vacato” is great for learning how to really waste my time.

 

•  Watching the spring breakers makes me wonder if my parents knew what they were saying.

 

•  I think I’m getting drunk, but nobody can tell the difference.

 

•  Reading a paperback book in a karoke beach bar at midnight, just makes me feel stupid. Or old.

 

•  Toes in the sand and a cold beer in my hand, Life is good.

 

•  Coconut suntan oil replacing the smell of printer ink, Life is good.

 

You know the vacation’s over when the money runs out.

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The Algonkian Writer Conferences in San Francisco Delivers

August8

The soaring crimson arches of the Golden Gate Bridge― possibly the most beautiful bridge in the world― loomed overhead as my cab made its way into Marin County from San Francisco for the Algonkian Writer Conferences by Michael Neff and published fiction author Anne Garvin.  The pinnacle of the famous steel structure disappeared into the cool, wispy morning fog, reminding me that I wasn’t in Texas any more.        

Morning Commute on Golden Gate Bridge

I have attended several writing conferences in the past, so why did this Texas-writer- chick select this three-day event  from the hundred or so available each year?  

There were several factors at play in my decision.   Let’s start with the most obvious—the stunning scenery and temperate climate—certainly a vast departure from the triple digits and desert landscape of my home town. Can you blame me? Second, and more importantly, this cozy writers’ get-together addressed some of the more pressing topics on my agenda: Story premise, social platform, and market execution. A tri-fecta in my book.

With a completed, unpublished, an unrepresented fiction novel waiting patiently on my laptop, I needed a conference that would provide me with a reality check and test my story for market compatibility, while at the same time help me hone my agent pitch skills. I’m pleased to report that this conference delivered as promised. Not only was it informative, but it was fun, too. Made lots of new friends and learned a ton of stuff. Thanks Mike and Anne!  Can’t wait until next year.

Here’s a recap of the event: 

Prior to arrival, I filled out the PPE online evaluation form, which automatically entered me in the conference’s Best Manuscript Contest. By the way, “PPE” stands for: Premise (concept/plot/drama), Platform (expertise/pubs/social media) and Execution (voice/narrative/dialogue/novel opening.)   

I waited for official acceptance into the conference and received it a day later.  Yeah—I was in—part of the club—just had to wait a month before I could hop on the plane and head west. Did I mention it was 105 degrees in Texas? My suitcase  seemed to pack itself.   

The conference itself was instrumental in shaping my pitch and presentation to the agents.  The pitch sessions allowed each writer to be in a position to get face time with a number of agents.  There were pitch practices beforehand where writers worked with the staff one-on-one or in front of the group, whichever you preferred.  The feedback was valuable.  The goal is not to sign an agent (I guess that could happen), but to get them to want to see more.  My goal was to be able to bounce my query ahead of all the hundreds of other queries that the agents get each week by putting three words in my email subject line: Requested Material Enclosed. 

On the last day, I met with several agents and they took the time to give me feedback.  One agent even asked to read my manuscript.  Fortunately, I had my laptop with me.  After he read the opening, he asked questions.  He provided some good, straightforward feedback about my work.    I found that to be a personal touch that I had not experienced in any conference in the past.  And yes, he did tell me to send an email marked; RME.

This conference was helpful to responding to what new writers need to work on.  The small audience provided a sense of camaraderie one feels in the presence of fellow writers.  I created connections that can help advance my writing career.    

I learned that as long as my book had sex, death and cats, I’d be sure to get published.  Ok, not really. But I did take away, that you don’t ever want to kill a cat in your story. 

I applaud the Algonkian Writer Conferences for delivering an environment that eliminates the problems of not being interactive.  The presentations were thorough, engaging and there was plenty of opportunity to collaborate.   The conference schedule was packed with two full days of classroom time and study, with a heavy focus on how to perfect our agent pitches—the key to landing an agent.  Class time included guest lectures by published authors and industry professionals. Each guest author told us their publishing story and outlined what to expect after you land and agent and publisher. They were all lively and entertaining, which kept the class time moving right along.

Another reason I chose this conference was that there was a writing contest.  Ok, so what if I’m a competitive writer?  While winning a contest may or may not help me get published, it’s a nice-to-have credential to put in my query letter or to mention in my pitch.  In addition, the pre-work analysis and the contest entry meant someone would be reading the first few pages of my book. And that was a good thing. 

Legendary film producer and literary agent, Ken Atchity announced the winners of the contest.  For a brief moment, in a Hollywood Academy Award style I had the distinguished honors to walk on stage and accept my Oscar, um ― Award Certificate― for my story, PLUSH.  “I’d like to thank my mom and my dad, my family, Michael Neff and Anne Garvin, and I’d like to thank my agent― wait a minute, I don’t have an agent.” 

I’m back at my desk sitting in my favorite writing chair inspired by everything I’ve learned at the conference.   All and all, the conference left me with a sense of new understanding of what I need to do and where to go next with my story. 

One of the wonders of the Algonkian Writer Conferences was the tremendous amount of unselfish volunteer effort contributed by very few people (mainly authors, agents, writers participating) so that many people can have the opportunity for a stimulating learning experience―and a fun time!

I would like to thank the staff for their outstanding conference.  Keep up the good work!

Writers do you want a conference to practice your pitch and meet agents? Check out this writing conference.

http://algonkianconferences.com/        http://writetomarketconference.com/ 

   Have you attended a writers conference?  What did you find valuable?  

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Clear Eyes, Full hearts, to Wet Eyes, Broken Hearts, Good-bye Friday Night Lights!

July13

Get your Kleenex ready for the final episode of Friday Night Lights airing tomorrow on NBC.  And “you-know-who” is sitting in the stands cheering for Dillon East!  That’s right, I am proud to admit I was an unpaid extra on FNL.

I’ve had the opportunity to appear on TV on several occasions, from a brief shot on The Tonight Show, to a 10 minute planned event on QVC in front of 7 million viewers, to a paid extra on the original “Dallas” series.  But the highlight of my TV experiences was last summer when my daughter Courtney, and her friend Morgan, and I were on the set of final episode of Friday Night Lights filmed in Dallas , Texas at the Cotton Bowl.

After enduring many hot, humid hours in the Texas sun, we had the excitement of being involved in the filming and appearing at the last Dillon football game, The Texas High School State Championship.  OK, “appearing” is a bit of an exaggeration.  A big exaggeration, since our shot lasted a nanosecond.

Coach Taylor standing next to Number 18

Coach Taylor standing next to Number 18

We didn’t even know we made the episode until it aired.  We figured that with the 1000s of fans there, we would end up on the edit floor.  So we were pleasantly surprised while watching FNL finale that aired in February on Direct TV, (tomorrow night’s the NBC finale) to see we made the episode.  There was a lot of screaming and hitting rewind when they flashed the three of us in the stands.   My daughter posted on Facebook a photo taken from her iPhone of our TV of us in the stands cheering.  An ensuing “convo” on that picture started amongst all her FB friends.   I think that photo got more “likes” than the cheerleader mishap photo. (Hmmm, you missed that one too.)

Vince Howard (Actor Michael B Jordan)

In any case, there’s no doubt that FNL has entertained us for 5 seasons.  And the last throw of the football had a “Hollywood” ending.   After the Direct TV season, we know what happens, BUT that night last summer when filming this episode, we didn’t know jack.  And the producers were careful not to spill the beans.  We filmed three endings to the game.  Spoiler alert! With 3 seconds on the clock, Dillon East is behind by 5 (26-21), the Lions QB (Dillon East) Vince throws a Hail Mary, his final desperation pass,  and it lands… in the STAR actor “Luke’s” hands. We (the fans in the stands) go wild. They film us cheering and screaming.  BUT then they film it again.  AND it’s intercepted by a Hudgins Hawk player. We all BOO & get sad.  THEN they film it AGAIN, and it’s incomplete. SO you won’t know how it ends until the actually airing on NBC.  Spoiler alert # 2, the ball never even lands in any of those places in the final episode.  (It lands in Philly.) How it ends you’ll love it, trust me.  Even though you are hating me right now, giving you a glimpse into the true ending, you’ll still love it.

Final Seconds to the end of the Game, the season....the series.

For those readers that are not familiar with FNL (then why would you still be reading this blog?), the Emmy nominated series was adapted from the book and movie (2004 starting Billy Bob Thornton) of the same name.  FNL explores a rural West Texas town where the weekly ritual of Friday night high school football games is the obsession.

The book by H.G. Bissinger’s profiled the economically depressed town of Odessa, Texas and their heroic high school football team, The Permian High Panthers.  The town struggled with a city racially divided and economically dying, but thrived for that one night that gives the town something to live for, Friday Night Football.

Luke (Actor Matt Lagoria) getting instructions for the next play.

The drama series Friday Night Lights since 2006 has explored the cultural scene in a rural town in Dillon Texas that includes the importance of football, dating and church to students at Dillon’s high school.   Even though the series is based on rural America high school issues, it could easily parallel the problems infused in urban high schools.

Our family started watching the series when Tami Taylor (Dillon Football coach’s wife) begins to coach the Dillon girls’ volleyball team.  We found the series engaging and thrilling.  Plus my teens found the lead high school characters “hot”.   I agree the characters, (the likes of Matt, Luke, Vince, Tim, Tara, Landry, Julie…) are beautiful people but they are authentic and served as an alternate reality check to all the TV images from reality MTV pumped into our kid’s culture.   They struggled weekly with the drama associated with high school issues.

Coach Taylor (Kyle Chandler)

As a Texas high school alumnae, and mother to three Texas high schoolers, I have personal experience of the real world of Texas HS football drama that has been depicted in the series.  FNL is an outstanding show that’s only incidentally about football. The drama actually returns each week with a lesson on small-town America touching on issues like race, class, and religion with a rare eloquence.

Two Fans of Dillon East

The cast has always been about family on and off the field. And after our pleasant experience of spending 10 hours with the cast, I would add behind and in front of the cameras as well. It’s going to be hard to say good-bye to certain cast members.  Pass me more tissues, please.  We’re going to miss them.  So from Clear Eyes, Full hearts, to wet eyes, broken hearts, we say good bye Dillon, Good bye Friday Night Lights!

One second on FNL

Have you appeared as an extra on TV?

 Are you a Fan of Friday Night Lights?

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posted under Fun, Writing | 9 Comments »

Do you really know what drowning looks like?

July8

 

I was a trained lifeguard and spent my summers overseeing neighborhood pools in Houston.  Fortunately, I only had to give mouth-to- mouth CPR once in my lifeguarding career.  A five year old threw up water in my mouth, while his mom screamed in my ear. She was in shock that she hadn’t realized her son was drowning in the baby pool three feet in front of her. I was sixteen years old. 

Years later, after I graduated from college, I was dating a guy who also was a trained lifeguard.  We had a hot date planned.  I was dressed to the nines in my Manolo Blahnik sandals, trendy sundress and fashion accessories.  My date was looking hot  too.  We made an attractive couple.  We stopped at a pool party at an acquaintance’s house before hitting the dance clubs in uptown. 

We sat on two lounge chairs next to each other, drinking cocktails, our eyes darting to the pool in front of us filled with kids and adults.  We were talking and glancing at the pool, and without even a word to each other, we both jumped into the water without any hesitation, Blahnik sandals and all.  We saved a little boy’s life.  Both of us saw he was drowning just two feet next to his mom and she hadn’t recognized the signs of her son drowning.  

Do you know what drowning looks like?  Drowning doesn’t look like drowning

My great Uncle sent me an excellent article from Captain G that overviews the signs that a person is drowning―you may be surprised.   
“… of the approximately 750 children who will drown next year, about 375 of them will do so within 25 yards of a parent or other adult. In ten percent of those drowning, the adult will actually watch them do it, having no idea it is happening.” (source:CDC)

What did my date and I know, from 20 feet away, that the mother couldn’t recognize from just three? Did you know that most people who are drowning don’t look like they are drowning?  We stereotypically think of someone thrashing about and yelling for help, but actually, it is much more difficult to distinguish when a person in the water is in distress, especially children.  Drowning is not the violent, splashing, call for help that most people expect. My date and I were trained to recognize drowning.  The mother, on the other hand, had learned what drowning looks like by watching TV.  If you spend time on or near the water, which is most of us, then you should make sure that you and your group knows what to look for whenever people enter the water. Until the little boy was rescued and cried for his mom, he hadn’t made a sound. Drowning is usually a deceptively quiet event. The waving, splashing, and yelling that dramatic conditioning TV prepares us to look for, is rarely seen in real life.

“ The Instinctive Drowning Response – so named by Francesco A. Pia, Ph.D.,  is what people do to avoid actual or perceived suffocation in the water.  And it does not look like most people expect.  There is very little splashing, no waving, and no yelling or calls for help of any kind.  To get an idea of just how quiet and undramatic from the surface drowning can be, consider this:  It is the number two cause of accidental death in children, age 15 and under just behind vehicle accidents.   Drowning does not look like drowning – Dr. Pia, in an article in the Coast Guard’s On Scene Magazine, described the instinctive drowning response like this:

  1. Except in rare circumstances, drowning people are physiologically unable to call out for help. The respiratory system was designed for breathing. Speech is the secondary or overlaid function. Breathing must be fulfilled, before speech occurs.
  2. Drowning people’s mouths alternately sink below and reappear above the surface of the water. The mouths of drowning people are not above the surface of the water long enough for them to exhale, inhale, and call out for help. When the drowning people’s mouths are above the surface, they exhale and inhale quickly as their mouths start to sink below the surface of the water.
  3. Drowning people cannot wave for help. Nature instinctively forces them to extend their arms laterally and press down on the water’s surface. Pressing down on the surface of the water, permits drowning people to leverage their bodies so they can lift their mouths out of the water to breathe.
  4. Throughout the Instinctive Drowning Response, drowning people cannot voluntarily control their arm movements. Physiologically, drowning people who are struggling on the surface of the water cannot stop drowning and perform voluntary movements such as waving for help, moving toward a rescuer, or reaching out for a piece of rescue equipment.
  5. From beginning to end of the Instinctive Drowning Response people’s bodies remain upright in the water, with no evidence of a supporting kick. Unless rescued by a trained lifeguard, these drowning people can only struggle on the surface of the water from 20 to 60 seconds before submersion occurs.

(Source: On Scene Magazine: Fall 2006)

This doesn’t mean that a person that is yelling for help and thrashing isn’t in real trouble – they are experiencing  aquatic distress. Not always present before the instinctive drowning response, aquatic distress doesn’t last long – but unlike true drowning, these victims can still assist in their own rescue ― they can grab lifelines, throw rings, etc.Look for these other signs of drowning when persons are in the water:

  • Head low in the water, mouth at water level
  • Head tilted back with mouth open
  • Eyes glassy and empty, unable to focus
  • Eyes closed
  • Hair over forehead or eyes
  • Not using legs – Vertical
  • Hyperventilating or gasping
  • Trying to swim in a particular direction but not making headway
  • Trying to roll over on the back
  • Ladder climb, rarely out of the water.

So if a family member falls overboard and every looks O.K. ― don’t be too sure.  Sometimes the most common indication that someone is drowning is that they don’t look like they’re drowning.  They may just look like they are treading water and looking up at the deck.  One  way to be sure?  Ask them: “Are you alright?” If they can answer at all ― they probably are.  If they return a blank stare – you may have less than 30 seconds to get to them.  And parents: children playing in the water make noise. When they get quiet, you get to them and find out why. “     (Source: gCaptain Blog forums May 2010)

For more water survival tips be sure to visit USCG rescue Swimmer Mario Vittone’s gCaptain Page.

Please pass this article along to others that spend time at the pool or the lake this summer.

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posted under Safety | 2 Comments »

The CPSC and GAMMA Sports Recall Children’s Tennis Racquets Due to Risk of Lead Exposure

June27

About 2000 Quick Kids Junior Tennis Racquets produced  by GAMMA Sports of Pittsburg, PA , manufactured in China have been recalled due to the  orange grip tape on the tennis racket’s handle contains high levels of lead. Lead is toxic if ingested by young children and can cause adverse health effects.

This recall involves Quick Kids 23-inch aluminum junior tennis racquets with orange tape on the hand grip. Recalled racquets have lot number”F:3:10:08″ stamped onto the bottom of the racquet grip below the “G.”

Consumers should immediately take the recalled tennis racquets away from children and contact GAMMA Sports for a free replacement grip kit.  For more information, contact GAMMA Sports at (800) 333-0337 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or visit the firm’s website at www.gammasports.com

Child's Tennis Racket Recalled

Child's Tennis Racket Recalled

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Beeni Baby Hats Recalled Due to Asphyxiation Hazard

June4

The CPSC recalled Beeni Baby hats due to a baby can spit up during use posing as an asphyxiation hazard.  The hats are made of cotton and spandex. They have two straps sewn to the sides and a removable plastic pacifier holder. The hat is available in several sizes and styles including blue, green, pink, flower print, blue stripe and blue print. There is a Model number (125867) sewn on a tag into the back inner rim of the cap.   Consumers should immediately stop using the hats and contact Kahn Enterprises to receive a full refund. Kahn Enterprises will provide consumers with a postage paid label to return the product.

For additional information, email Kahn Enterprises at info@beeni-kids.com, visit the firm’s website at www.beeni.net or call the firm collect at (612) 310-4053.

Kahn Enterprises will provide consumers with a postage paid label to return the product.  Do you know of any other recalls to report? 

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Memorial Day Quotes

May27

This year whether your Memorial Day plans take you to the beaches, parties or an all-you-can-eat cookout remember to thank the men and women that serve our country.  Thank you!

As part of the Memorial Day Celebration, enjoy these quotes. And other Random thoughts:

  • I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free. And I won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me.   -Lee Greenwood
  • It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived. — General George Patton
  • Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty. – John F. Kennedy
  • The greatest glory of a free-born people is to transmit that freedom to their children. -William Havard
  • For death is no more than a turning of us over from time to eternity. -William Penn
  • The patriot’s blood is the seed of Freedom’s tree. – Thomas Campbell           
  • The costs this Memorial day; the price of hotdogs 2.30, the price of gas 4.00 /gal , the price of freedom…priceless.  Thank you to all that serve.
  • Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. Moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue. -Senator Barry Goldwater
  • When You Go Home, Tell Them Of Us And Say,  For Their Tomorrow, We Gave Our Today - The Kohima Epitaph
  • On thy grave the rain shall fall from the eyes of a mighty nation! -Thomas William Parsons
  • The brave die never, though they sleep in dust: Their courage nerves a thousand living men. -Minot J. Savage
  • We come, not to mourn our dead soldiers, but to praise them. -Francis A. Walker
  • The dead soldier’s silence sings our national anthem. -Rev. Aaron Kilbourn
  • The cost of liberty is less than the cost of repression. -Web Dubois
  •  With the tears a Land hath shed. Their graves should ever be green. – Thomas Bailey Aldrich
  • They fell, but o’er their glorious grave , Floats free the banner of the cause they died to save. – Francis Marion Crawford
  •  The purpose of all war is ultimately peace. -Saint Augustine
  •  As I approach the gates of heaven; St. Peter I will tell; One more soldier reporting sir; I’ve served my time in hell. -Mark Anthony Gresswell
  • Peace is more important than all justice; and peace was not made for the sake of justice, but justice for the sake of peace. -Martin Luther
  • Memorial Day afternoon and the aroma from the barbeque smoke & freshly mowed lawn is stronger than all of nature’s air fresheners.

 

What are some of your favorite Memorial Day memories?

Another Great Cartoon by Bill Lamere

                                                                                                                                                      

What are some of your favorite Memorial Day Quotes?

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What I learned in Life; and other Mother’s Day Fun

May7

For all the hardworking moms out there, enjoy Mother’s Day and I hope it’s filled with plaster-of-Paris handprints, soup can pencil holders, macaroni necklaces, spa gift certificates and dinner reservations. 

Whether you’re a mom or you just have a mom, here’s some fun quotes for this week.

  • I sterilized my first baby’s pacifier by boiling it and my third baby’s pacifier by blowing on it.
  • This year our Mother’s Day dilemma is do we spend $100. to buy mom flowers, or spend the $100 on gas to fill our SUV  to drive across town to see her.  Hmmm? 
  • My favorite t-shirt to wear when running errands with my kids says,” Who are these kids, and why are they calling me mom?”
  • The term “Whoops” in our house, really means “get a sponge.” 
  • Life is way too short to deprive yourself of chocolate. 
  • My daughter takes after me.  She left me this voicemail, “Mom, if you get this message, call me; if you don’t, then don’t worry about it.”  
  • I learned that on Mother’s Day, not only am I in charge of buying my mom’s gift, but my mother-in-law’s present as well, and I can’t forget to forge his signature on the card I bought for my MOL from him.
  • You know you’re a mom when you automatically double-knot everything you tie.
  • I learned that that I should never put my son on the top bunk when he’s wearing his Superman pjs.
  • It’s true; you still need to do chores on Mother’s Day!
  • I learned that my kids think my worst feature is my singing.  “Stop it” or “Shut up” usually follows when I attempt to mutter along with the radio.
  • I learned I turned into my mom , when I found myself saying things like; “You’re sitting to close to the TV.”  “Turn off the lights, you’re wasting electricity.” “Just because Ethan’s mom said it’s OK, doesn’t make it OK.” 
  • I learned I can be a tough mom, really.  I can put the fear in my kids with just one sentence.  “Just wait until your dad gets home.”
  • “When your mother asks, ‘Do you want a piece of advice?’ it is a mere formality. It doesn’t matter if you answer yes or no. You’re going to get it anyway.” Erma Bombeck
  • “I want my children to have all the things I couldn’t afford. Then I want to move in with them.” Phyllis Diller
  • Any mother could perform the jobs of several air-traffic controllers with ease, while sleeping.
  • “You don’t really understand human nature unless you know why a child on a merry-go-round will wave at his parents every time around – and why his parents will always wave back.”  William D. Tammeus
  • The only reason men are alive is for lawn care and vehicle maintenance.
  • Anytime you worry that you weren’t a good mom, remember at least your kids didn’t turn out like Bin Laden. 
  • Bin Laden is buried at sea, once again surrounded by seals.  Osama Bin Laden is finally rotting in HELL with Hitler.
  • And why are they worried about the Bin Laden photos being too gruesome, most Americans would want to use it as their screen saver.  JL
  • The menu in my house growing up had two choices ; eat it or starve.
  • I know I’m a mom, when I draw smiley faces on the bananas I packed in my kids lunches. 

What are some of the crazy things your mom has done? What crazy things have you done as a mom?

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Toy Story 3 Bowling Game Recalled Due to Violation of Red Paint

May5

A plastic Bowling Game (Toy Story 3) has been recalled because the red paint used on the bowling pins has been measured to have lead in excess of the maximum allowable level of 90 ppm, a violation of the federal lead paint standard. 

This recall affects Toy Story 3 Bowling Game Rugs with a batch marking of JA 148.

The package contains six white plastic bowling pins with two red stripes painted on the necks, one black plastic ball, and a 68 inch x 26 inch nylon game rug with a print of the character Buzz Lightyear on the front. The batch marking JA 148 appears on the bottom front of the packaging just above the bar code, and is also located on the tag attached to the rug.

The toy manufactured in China was sold at Walmart Stores in the U.S. between September 1, 2010 and September 25, 2010 for about $18.

Please Do NOT let your kids or pets suck on these plastic pins!

Consumers should stop using the bowling pins immediately and contact the manufacturer for a free replacement set.  For additional information, contact G.A. Gertmenian and Sons LLC toll-free at (888) 224-4181

Red Paint Stripes on bowling pins

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Wanderlust in Washington

April11

It was wonderful wandering around Washington during the cherry blossom season, reminding me of the quote; “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the places and moments that take our breath away.”

Twice in the last month, I have had the opportunity to travel to our Nation’s Capital, Washington DC.

The first trip, I saw remnants of snow still piled in the shade on the ground but a few weeks later, I was there on the cusp of the cherry blossoms blooming.  I arrived on a Friday where the cherry blossoms were not quite in bloom, when I left on Tuesday they were blooming. Boy, were they blooming! Thousands of cherry blossom trees bursting into bloom.

The pink blooms were just cherry icing on top of a delicious city, a must-see-before-you-die-kinda-place.

This venerable city has so much to offer.  There was so much to see, in so little time.  This last trip, I was like a kid in a candy store, staying in different parts of the city, exploring Embassy Row, DuPont Circle, Georgetown, Pentagon City, the Mall and of course the White House and Capitol.  I spent a few days snapping pictures as I jogged and walked the city.  I even got a “readers card” at the Library of Congress!

Monday after my meeting, with the Washington Monument looming in the distance was almost too much to pass up; instead of taking a taxi to my hotel, I decided to walk the two miles …through the Mall.  “Hanging out at the Mall” takes on a totally different meaning in DC.   I snapped a few photos with my iPhone on my way.  The blooming trees were stunning.  It is one of those marvels that is so much better in person, my pictures do not do it justice.

Some of the must see places while in DC.

Hope you enjoy!

Have you been to Washington?  What’s your favorite place to visit there?   

 

 

 

 

 

The Washington Monument built in 1884 thrusting skyward 555 feet offers spectacular 360 degree views from the top peak.

 

 

 

Walking around the tidal basin amazed by the amount of cherry trees. It was stunning. It’s one of those marvels that you must see in person.

The Treasury Building next to the White House is on the back of a ten dollar bill.

Growing up in Illinois, I memorized at an early age the Gettysburg address.  These words are etched on my brain even now as an adult.  It was awesome to see these words etched on the wall behind the somber Abe Lincoln the civil war president at the Lincoln memorial.

Known for  grandeur and simplicity our nations Capitol covers four acres and stands among beautiful park grounds of  more than 50 acres adorned with fountains and statues.

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posted under Fun, travel | No Comments »

Listen up Dieters, Lean Cuisine Meatball Meals are Recalled!

March15

Nestle, the manufacturer of the popular diet meal, Lean Cuisine is recalling more than 10,000 pounds of the meatball and spaghetti entree because it may contain plastic pieces in the meal.  Plastic is a good deterrent but that’s no way to shed pounds!

How did so many tainted meatball meals pass their quality control? When a factory is turning out so many meals, it should have a quality control line that is top notched.  Nestle corporate quality people will be putting their Corrective Action and Preventive Action  (CAPA)  Plan into effect on this one to assure that no more plastic slips through the cracks.  The FDA will be following up on their CAPA plan. 

No injuries have been reported.    Please throw the meatballs out! And call for a refund. 

Please call or email Nestle with Questions.   Roz O’Hearn, Nestlé USA, (440) 264-5170, roz.ohearn@us.nestle.com  or Laurie MacDonald, Nestlé USA, (818) 549-6235, laurie.macdonald@us.nestle.com

 

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What I’ve Learned in Life and Random Valentine Thoughts.

February13

Tomorrow is Saint Valentines’ Day , so I have dedicated this week’s random thoughts to Love and Valentine.  Some of the quotes may come from late night comedians including Jay Leno,  Jimmy Fallen , Tweet, Tweet.  Enjoy! 

  • I learned I love picking through a box of chocolates looking for the caramel and nut ones, one tiny candy at a time. Or I could just buy a giant Snickers bar and get it over with. 
  • I learned that the only Valentines I get in the mail are from Ed McMan.
  • I know it is Valentine’s Day, when it’s time to go to a packed restaurant with hundreds of other couples.

 

  • Today is Valentine’s Day – or, as men like to call it, Extortion Day!”  Jay Leno
  • I learned if I give my hubby his card, and candy in the morning of Valentine’s Day, I’ll be sure to get one that evening. Signed in the car. 
  • Here’s 10 pounds of chocolate, now go put on that negligee.

So when your hubby buys you lingerie for Valentine’s Day, whose gift is it really? 

  • Roses are red, Violets are blue, the chocolates you gave me, gave me diabetes type 2.   Tweet

Monday night Guy tweet: I think I’ll stay home for Valentine’s Day and try to find the girls eliminated from The Bachelor on Facebook. 

  • I feel bad for people who die on Valentine’s Day.  How much would flowers cost then, ten grand?  Jay Leno

Valentine’s Day is when a lot of married men are reminded what a poor shot Cupid really is. 

  • When I said I didn’t want to do anything tonight, it didn’t mean I wanted to be alone while you acted like you just got a rose on the gay hillbilly version of the Bachelor!” Ellie to hubby ,Andy, who ditched her on Valentine’s Day for a guy’s night. (Cougar Town). 
  • It is love, not reason that is stronger than death.  Thomas Mann
  • You had me at, “babysitter.” 
  • I got a Valentine’s Day card from my girl. It said, ‘Take my heart! Take my arms! Take my lips!’ Which is just like her. Keeping the best part for herself.   Robert Orben
  • To love someone is to see a miracle invisible to others. Francois Mauriac
  • Florist: I lost a whole sheet of flower orders. It’s cool I wrote better messages for all of them anyways.
  • A bunch of my friends hate V-day so instead they celebrate “Singles Awareness Day”.
  • I got my Valentine’s Day present early. Can anyone loan me a foot pump so I don’t have to blow her up? Guy Tweet
  • If you make me yours, I’ll make you mine.
  • What’s worse than no date and no gift is getting a bouquet of flowers from your mom.
  • Why do we celebrate Valentine’s Day?  Because the Card and Jewelry industries are  hurting a month and a half after Christmas.  
  • Why are cute Valentine cards filled with bear hugs? I guess snail hugs are too slimy. 
  • I love you, not for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you.  Roy Croft
  • Love doesn’t make the world go round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile. Franklin P. Jones
  • Here’s to love – the only fire for which there is no insurance.  
  • Love is an act of endless forgiveness, a tender look which becomes a habit. Peter Ustinov
  • And when love speaks, the voice of all the gods makes heaven drowsy with the harmony.  Shakespeare 
  • Love may not make the world spin around, but it certainly makes a lot of people dizzy.
  • Age does not protect you from love. But love, to some extent, protects you from age. Jeanne Moreau 
  • To love someone is to see a miracle invisible to others.  Francois Mauriac 
  • I hope your husband will do special things for you on Valentine’s Day like open the door for you when you put the laundry in the washing machine or plug and unplug the vacuum as you move from room to room cleaning. 
  • I tell ya, my wife was never nice. On our first date, I asked her if I could give her a goodnight kiss on the cheek – she bent over!  Rodney Dangerfield   
  • It’s tough to stay married. My wife kisses the dog on the lips, yet she won’t drink from my glass! Rodney
  • Last night my wife met me at the front door. She was wearing a sexy negligee. The only trouble was, she was coming home. Rodney
  • When a man opens the door of his car for his wife, you can be sure of one thing: either the car is new or the wife.  
  • Valentine’s Day is getting a diamond from some dude named Jared… and we don’t mean the Subway guy.
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