Tuesday, October 16, 2018

It's Here!

    We just got our first shipment of books in late Saturday... accompanied by snow. Was Mother Nature trying to make some sort of statement?

Ghosts & Legends of Colorado is now officially in stock at Brickworks -- and we're still offering the pre-pub special.

Retail price:  $19.99... but for you, we'll make a deal.






Buy one copy (first edition, signed by yours truly) and it's $16.99 plus $3.00 shipping -- we'll cover the rest.  (No tax for you Coloradoans, either.)

Buy more than one, and the price drops to $15.99 each -- with no additional cost for shipping!

We accept checks, cash, credit cards...or can bill you via Paypal. (Yes, we do that, too.)

But don't delay. We won't be running this special forever. Order your copy today, in time for ghost stories on Halloween!





Peace In Our Time

President Trump is back to tweeting insults en masse. (Oh, blessed silence when he wasn't so much.) Maybe this scenario can offer hope.
     He might switch to toilet paper, instead.



Monday, October 15, 2018

Speechless

What do you say to an advertisement like this?

And would you try to retrieve your undies from said cat...



Sunday, October 14, 2018

Monday Stuff On the Way to Other Stuff: Kalamazoo!

    I'm here in Michigan with The Mama...but only for a few more days. 

Then it's off to the Log Cabin Quilters in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

I'll be doing the "There Must Be A Story Behind That Quilt" lecture on Tuesday night, Oct. 16.

Then teaching a "Quilts with Secrets" class on Wednesday, including a brand-new pattern, just for the guild! 

Go here for more info -- hope to see you there.



The Brick tells me our part of Colorado had snow. Daughter #2's neck of the woods (Nederland) got it too: 9 inches. Colorado's fall colors are just winding up.


The aspen near Daughter #2 and Son #1's house...nice
    
Meanwhile, The Mama's part of Michigan (Grand Rapids and parts north) is glorious with fall colors. You haven't seen red and orange until they're bursting out of a maple tree. Sure, it's cold here, and a little rainy. But who cares, with all those amazing fall colors!




The 'high rollaway' near Croton & Hardy dam -- and this is just starting to gear up!


The maple near The Mama's farmhouse -- also just starting

Also high rollaway... just beginning. It's much brighter this weekend.


Entries are sparse this week; I have not been able to spend much time online. But for what they're worth, here they are.


An 'emotional support squirrel:' now I've seen everything.


"If I can prevent at least one kid from going through what my kid goes through every day, I will do whatever it takes [that] I have to:"  a very interesting report by a concerned mom. (From Denver's newest paper, the Colorado Sun)

The strange story of a Saudi journalist who disappeared while trying to register for marriage with his Turkish fiancee. Authorities now think he's dead -- murdered for his views.

A Christian-American pastor finally released by a Turkish court. Makes you wonder if the Turkish Christians were released, too.

Samantha Markle, the Duchess of Sussex's big-mouthed sister, now insists that their father HAS met Prince Harry... but in a secret meeting. (Gee, it's not so secret anymore.) Furthermore, instead of characterizing him as a spineless "hamster," she's now calling him "gentlemanly." (Harry, that is -- not her dad.)
     What a turnabout. Does she really think Meghan will magically forget all her previous insults and rudeness by these latest 'nicey' comments? Now that the Duke and Duchess are pregnant, Samantha is threatening, "If my dad is excluded, I won't be happy." Shoot, she wouldn't be pleased unless she's center stage -- not them. If that happened, Markle Senior would quickly be shoved aside.

Ten lights that have puzzled scientists.  (From Listverse) Also from them:

Ten inventions inspired by plants and animals.


And for those who don't follow football:
   Michigan won.  In fact, they creamed Wisconsin.
   CU lost.  (But by less than thought -- they played a tough team.)
   The Broncos lost. (I don't want to talk about it.)

     The Mama is a big football fan, fueled, no doubt, by Brother's involvement in it for years. It's not hard at all to get her to watch a game. And she has cable.



Have a great week. If you're in the Kalamazoo area, stop by and say hi.






Friday, October 12, 2018

Angola Quilt Shop, Kalamazoo's Log Cabin Quilters... And More

I'm in Michigan right now, staying with The Mama.

It's been muggy, overcast, rainy and a bit too warm, especially for fall. But yesterday, the temperatures started dropping -- and the hand The Mama just laid on mine was suitably icy. So we're in fall, after all.
    The colors are just starting to change -- but to see even a little of the reds and oranges here is glorious. Colorado has a few oranges and reds, now and then -- but nothing like Michigan.
    Don't believe me? Here are 19 ways Michigan does fall better than any other state. (Or so says the article.)







I've had my share of apple stuff, including a gallon of cider, too. Yum.






Headed shortly to see my friend Tammy DiPasquale, and her new store, the Angola Quilt Shop, in Angola, IN. It's just a few hours drive away. She caught me by surprise, moving from Colorado -- but has been very happy doing this. She always wanted to own a quilt shop...and has continued her machine quilting business, as well. (She is one of my favorite machine quilters, and has quilted several of my samples for class and such.)

Next week, it's The Log Cabin Quilters in Kalamazoo, MI --

I'll be doing the "There Must Be A Story Behind That Quilt" lecture Tuesday night, the 16th.

And teaching a "Quilts with Secrets" class on Wednesday, including a brand-new pattern, just for them!

Go here for more info... hope to see you there.


Tahquamenon Falls -- a favorite Michigan stop in autumn
  (both Michigan images from Pinterest)




Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Kindness Always Means Something

These just spoke to my heart. Hopefully they will to yours, too.

And to the man who paid our toll during a busy rush hour traffic day in Chicago...

    Thank you. This post is dedicated to you.


















This is the same woman mentioned in my blogpost a few days ago...says a lot about her love for her horse.



Very gutsy...


It's so hard to admit when you messed up. But not only to admit it, but fix it...that's true dignity.





Monday, October 8, 2018

Congratulations, Zeb and Ariana Potter!

May your new life together be long and happy. 

October 6, 2018







Monday Stuff On the Way to Other Stuff: Today's the Day!

Yes, Gentle Readers, my book Ghosts & Legends of Colorado's Front Range has finally been released. It's the product of years of research, and months of writing, with stories you won't find anywhere else. (I know. I checked.)
     We haven't gotten our books yet -- soon -- but we're offering a special. Ghosts and Legends retails for $19.99, but we'll ship your first edition copy, signed by yours truly, for only $16.99 plus $3 shipping. (Buy more than one, and they're $15.99 each -- still at $3 total shipping!) E-mail me at cindyjbrick@gmail.com to reserve your books. We'll send them on, once we receive them at the Brickworks offices.
     I'll be doing some book signings locally, as well as telling ghost stories at the Firehouse Museum's trick or treat night in Denver (pictured on the front cover) Oct. 21. If you're in the Denver area, it's the perfect time to learn more. I'll have that schedule later in the week. 
     Meanwhile, I'm slated to do a phone interview Tuesday the 9th at 8:20 a.m. MST. Tune your radio to KEZW 1430 am for Rick Crandall's "Breakfast Club" show for more.



So what else has been happening?

* * * * * * * * * * *

Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed as a Supreme Court Judge -- with a 50-48 vote. You could have knocked me over with a feather; I figured he didn't have a chance.  Bits and pieces about this subject, if you care to indulge... that is, if your upchuck reflex is still holding steady:

Did Judge Kavanaugh's mom beat up on Dr. Ford's parents during a hearing, decades ago?  Actually, this is one of the strangest ironies of this whole situation.  (From Snopes)

A highly interesting interview with Dr. Blasey-Ford's long-term ex-boyfriend... who contradicts pretty much everything she's been saying. It's worth reading and thinking about -- even if you believe she's telling the truth. (I believe she believes she's telling the truth -- but there are so many vague spots that should be firm that I wonder...)

This is interesting, too. Not what I would call unbiased news, by any means. But worth considering, particularly the Google angle.



Another interesting commentary -- this one about Debbie Ramirez, Judge Kavanaugh's second accuser.

And yet another about Kavanaugh's third accuser to come forward.

You read -- and decide for yourself whether this changes things or not. (I'm still not sure myself.)

* * * * * * * * *

This is an odd one -- an admitted risk-taking performance artist is attacked -- by a man who whacks her with a painting he did of her face! She's ok, he got arrested...and she says she feels nothing but compassion for him. (From Artnet)

Ten years of Irish farming hunks -- and their latest calendar. Yum. But then, I'm partial to my Irish engineer hunk!  (From Irish Central)

"Why I bought 180 packages of chocolate."  (From Penniless Parenting)

The woman who held her horse's head up for three hours above the tide...an older story, but a heartening one. 

The $19 million lottery winner who's in jail now -- for robbing banks. On the same subject:

These lottery winners did much more good with their check.

Ten ancient sites said to be portals to... ?  I'm surprised they didn't mention the secret places of Machu Picchu, but Stonehenge is on the list.  (From Listverse)

Historic Mysteries: a Very Cool website with many unusual stories. I plan to visit this one regularly.

Metal detecting finds -- some very cool ones.

The famous historical bigfoot attack site at 'Ape Canyon' is found -- researchers think.  (From Roadtrippers)

A 'Jason' statue is removed as being 'trash' -- from the bottom of a lake. Scuba divers have been going down to gawk at it...

All sorts of interesting DIY projects -- many of them using everyday materials.  (From The Farmers Nest)


Have a great week. Enjoy the fall leaves in your neck of the woods.






Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Ummm...





I'm supposed to put a collar on my pet rattler? 

Don't think so...

Losing At Football





You don't want to end up like this poor soul:





So far, we're okay in this department. The Broncos won against the Chiefs. Almost. Then again, we're not expecting a lot from them this year.


Now, college ball -- that's a different story.

The Michigan Wolverines won...

The Colorado Buffs won (even though they weren't expected to)...

Keep up the good work, guys.

Go Buffs!

Go Blue!





Monday, October 1, 2018

Come to the Table

This song has had special meaning, through the mess of the Kavanaugh hearings and the hectic past few weeks. I needed a few moments of rest, and a chance to refocus. This helped.

Hopefully it will help you, too.


Come to the Table -- by the Sidewalk Prophets.








Monday Stuff on the Way to Other Stuff: Dead Beat and Plum Tuckered Out

So much to do, so little time. But we soldier on. 

My birthday lunch at Gaetano's in Denver, accompanied by the Brick and Daughter #1, was fascinating. Although the insides weren't as dark and Mafioso as I'd hoped, the dark red leather round settees and dark brown bar, with splashes of glass here and there, were interesting enough.
    The food was GREAT. And at happy hour prices weren't bad at all: $5 each for a plate of fresh oysters and crunchy fried calamari. Daughter had a Negroni, which she said the bar was known for.
     Our waitress, who'd been there three years, said she had never seen any ghosts. On the other hand, there were areas, particularly the basement, where she didn't go until addressing 'whoever' and telling them she was coming in. The guy who made their pasta at night (and worked in the basement to do it) said that he often heard voices and saw movement late at night -- but he'd gotten used to it. In the basement, with blocked tunnels (!!!) was where people gathered to play craps and do other gambling. 
     As we went to leave, the waitress came by: "You really need to mention the dimes." According to her, Clyde Smaldone, the son of the owners, would often leave dimes laying around, to encourage the cleaners (his sons) to do a good job. Although Clyde has been long gone, and Gaetano's sold to a new owner, the waitstaff still often finds dimes, particularly on the bar counter. (She said she wiped down the bar, went to do something else -- and when she got back, three dimes were waiting for her. This was common.) 
     The waitstaff had gotten so used to odd little occurences and moments that they were rather blase about it -- as if old friends dropped in for a quick visit now and then.


Clyde Smaldone, pondering dimes, no doubt (from Gaetano's website)

     If you're curious about Gaetano's, you can find out more in my book, Ghosts and Legends of Colorado's Front Range. It will be out in a week or so. Yes, we'll be offering a special!



The holidays must be on my mind -- a fair amount of the entries this week have to do with Christmas presents, particularly homemade ones. P.S. My book would make a great present, too!


Meanwhile:

When to get the best plane ticket prices.  (From Skyscanner)

"The Woman in the Iron Coffin:" an overview of a fascinating documentary.

"Core principles for achieving financial independence." (From the Financial Samurai). One of his best statements ever:
"You can fail because of superior competition, bad luck, or poor execution, but you cannot fail because you didn’t try your best."

19 homemade food gifts -- that don't look it.  (From Buzzfeed)

The perfect sandwich -- plenty of good tips here to give your sandwiches zip, and keep them from getting soggy.

Celebrities with connections you'd never realize... Kim Kardashian used to be Paris Hilton's assistant? They don't like each other much now... (From Cracked)

Incredible stories related by credible people. Yes, my old friend Bigfoot is included. (From Listverse)

'Spicy Can Opener Soup:' made with three cans and some spices. Wow!  (From Harvest Lane Cottage)

* * * * * * * *

The latest from the Department of Irony:

A man is killed -- near a baseball diamond, of all places -- by a hit-and-run driver. The same man who confessed in recent years to his own fatal hit-and-run incident.

Coming in second: Brett Kavanaugh's mother, also a federal judge, ruled in court, decades ago, about a lawsuit Professor Ford's parents were involved in. Some people are trying to argue that Dr. Ford's testimony during the Kavanaugh hearing was sour grapes about this incident, decades ago. (She ruled in their favor, by the way.)

And a distant third: Duchess Meghan's half-sister is 'vacationing' in London. How much do you want to bet she'll make a scene at Kensington Palace while she's there?
     Update:  Oops, she says she's sorry (sort of) about all the nasty comments she's made, but she did it because she was hurt she wasn't invited to the wedding. "There is so much water under the bridge, and so much has spun out of control that was never intended to..." Yep, I'll bet that makes Her Highness feel better about the whole matter.

* * * * * * * * *

21 of the stupidest criminals on the planet.  (From EBaums World)

20 spectacular warehouse-to-home conversions. Someday... (From Dwell)

A millionaire is made ten bucks at a time. (From Mr. Money Mustache)

Plaids in quilts. Why the heck not...   (From Wonkyworld)

Fun, frugal and inexpensive holiday giftsAn older-but-goodie from The Frugalwoods.

Twenty easy homemade gift ideas(From Thrifty Frugal Mom)

Small Christmas present ideas.  (From Thrifty Fun) Some good stuff from Like Merchant Ships, as well -- I come back to this post over and over:

No-bake, no-craft gifts for $1 or less.

Really Helpful gifts for seniors.  (From Holidappy) Take a minute to watch the "Hello Jerrie" 91-year-old drummer video at the bottom of the page -- she's a winner!

Matisse's models: a fascinating look at the painter (and paper-cutter) and his obsessions. (From Fine Art Multiple)

Sixteen apple recipes for fall.  (From Hundred Dollars A Month) Also from her: 

Hash brown waffles. Gonna try these.

Ten wonderful dogs in history: brave, loyal, smart.  (From Listverse)

Hydroplaning for football practice!



Have a good week.





Saturday, September 29, 2018

Lessons Learned From the Brett Kavanaugh Hearings

No doubt you are as fascinated, perplexed and repelled by all the testimony and accusations, proven or not, during the recent Senate hearings for Brett Kavanaugh's appointment as a Supreme Court judge.
    (More here, if you've been living under a rock, and have no idea what I'm talking about.)

I waver back and forth.

Judge Kavanaugh has a long reputation for honesty and ethical work. The women who have worked for him as clerks have nothing but praise.
    Could he have engaged in drunken shenanigans as a high schooler or college student? It wouldn't be a huge surprise, considering how many guys -- and women -- have done this. (I wonder if many Leaders of Industry are now wincing. In fact, another situation is just beginning for another senator. Hmmm...of course, only Republicans would have done this... right?)

The women who accuse him of 'sexual assault' are clear that they never were raped. But their accusations of drunken group attacks back in highschool/college days, with Kavanaugh leading the way, are unsettling.

Incidents similar to this certainly have happened before. This is nothing new. So if Judge Kavanaugh is accused of it, he's assumed guilty. Right?

Or should it be assumed that the women are lying? (Because that's happened before, as well.)


Dr. Ford's testimony is difficult to listen to, particularly if you have daughters. Yet why can't she remember which day and place this happened? (Rape and sexual assault victims are generally very specific about these details.)
     Why do some say she isn't lying...and yet others are insisting that she's mistaken, that Kavanaugh was never there at the party?
      Why didn't her family (parents and siblings) sign the statement of support released to support her innocence?

Why didn't she make these accusations after they happened? Instead of having it warp her for life, she could have actually done something about it.

(Actually, this one I can understand, particularly if you are a shy flower, and don't think anyone will believe you. But bringing it up decades later, with any evidence long gone...and they're supposed to believe you now -- even moreso?!?)

 The newest accuser, a Boulder woman, says he waved his penis drunkenly in her face.
(There's at least one more accuser...maybe more by now. Numbers keep changing.)

So where do we go from here?

Brett Kavanaugh could be one of the best Supreme Court judges we will ever see -- and, at the same time, an entitled jerk who drank too much back in college.

Dr. Ford could honestly have been mistaken. Or not. It's clear, though, that bringing up her accusations now have little to do with the real reason why these are coming up now:

It's not justice. It's politics.

If you don't like President Trump, dissing his appointee is a perfect way to tell him to stuff it. 

If you don't like Republicans, ditto. 

Or (a close third): "Somebody else hurt me/groped me/raped me. And they weren't punished. Kavanaugh can be held accountable for that -- and I'll feel better."
      (Only you won't.)

If you want to MAKE Republicans deny Kavanaugh's appointment, corner them in an elevator and harangue them. (Make sure a camera is nearby, so it's caught for the public.) Announce that you are a rape survivor. (Whether you are or not is irrelevant. If questioned, sob -- or scream louder.) Announce that anyone who votes for Kavanaugh is an entitled pro-rape scumbag. Edit the encounter, if needed, to really emphasize your point.

Now go load your video on the public media, and wait for the praise and approving comments. (Probably a few death threats, too. Who knows, with the weirdos out there. On both sides.)

Any politician with half a grain of self-serving interest is going to run shrieking from any notion of approving Kavanaugh, after that... regardless of what the truth is. It's the appearance of truth that matters now.
    And because of that, I believe we will not see Judge Kavanaugh approved. The Senate would be idiots to vote yes. That just makes political sense.

    When that happens, women's sexual rights advocates will shout that justice has been served. 

     A man's reputation will be permanently besmirched -- whether it was deserved or not.
           (I'm guessing we'll never know for 100% certain. God does, though.)

     And a lot of time, effort and expense will have been wasted. (Do you REALLY believe that the FBI investigation will result in actual charges?!?)

But there are lessons to be learned right now, no matter whose side you take:

YOU ALWAYS HAVE A CHOICE -- 
        EVEN WHEN YOU DON'T THINK YOU DO.

DON'T COMPROMISE YOURSELF.
   Why in the world would you think that attending parties, similar to what the testimonies describe, would be a GOOD idea?

     Is that single action, event or evening worth affecting your life -- for the rest of your life? Because that's what you're risking. Especially in today's climate.

IF YOU'RE FOOLISH ENOUGH TO DO IT...
   DON'T GET DRUNK.

     Every single case in this whole tawdry affair -- including the women making the accusations -- makes it clear that person was drinking. I am sick and tired of reading the phrases "drinking too much" and "intoxicated" -- and the quickie way those incriminating statements are skipped over, as if it doesn't matter.

     One or two drinks -- then stop. Or don't drink at all.

IF YOU DO, ANYWAYS --
       AND THE INEVITABLE HAPPENS -- 
REPORT IT. RIGHT AWAY. 
    Given our current worldview, you'll be believed much more quickly. (In fact, the people who make up accusations have also, sadly, been believed, too. Having consensual sex with near-strangers is just asking for trouble; it can destroy your life and your career. College football players, are you thinking about this??)


IF YOU'RE READING THIS, YOU ARE OLD ENOUGH TO BE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR OWN ACTIONS. 
          EVERY SINGLE DAY OF YOUR LIFE.

    If anything, that's the biggest lesson to be learned here. It's sad that we've had to go through so much to have that simple fact reinforced.

     Judge Kavanaugh probably feels the same way.


UPDATE:  He was approved! But the vote was close: 50-48.
                      We have a new Supreme Court judge.