Monday, September 29, 2008


Well, semi good news on the laptop front! I was able to pick up my computer from the nerds, um, technicians on Saturday evening. It's working and I'm using it right now! My files were saved! And I'm backing up all my files. Actually, I was going to back up my files the morning my laptop crashed!

The computer techs had some bad news. Unfortunately, my hard drive is failing, because it's old, and I need to replace it soon. So by the end of this week, I'm heading back to the geek shop so that my laptop will get a new, bigger hard drive. But the good news is, I still have my Windows XP cd that came with the laptop, and I can use it with my new hard drive! I don't have to worry about buying Vista and having it eat up a lot of my computer's resources.

So, why haven't I been around this weekend? Well, I've been busy with life and what not. Anyway, I'll be visiting y'all soon at your blog houses. And I'll try to catch up on postings. It feels so good to have my own laptop again, because I'm not at the library where I worried about the germs and filth--on the computers and the people who were in the library. I swear, a few of those people kept hacking all over the computers and book shelves!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Taken to the shop

Unfortunately, the computer geek, um, technician was unable to fix my laptop during his house call. So, he took my computer back to his lair to see if he can restore, or at least recover some of, my files! I'm hoping that all will go well, but he'll let me know in the morning. If this effort fails, he said the last attempt will be running a scan that lasts a few days! But I'm paying a flat fee and he was nice enough to waive the house visit fee. We'll see if my laptop taken to the shop will end up with me taken to the cleaners when I get the bill.

So, now I'm back again in the library, trying to type and surf in the allotted 2 hours I've got access to the computers. It sucks, but it's free. I've been forced to get a library card so I can use the internet on the library computers! At least there's not so many jobless, nosy, and retired bums to bother me here. It's a Friday afternoon, so I suppose the library will be a little bit slow. Anway, I'll try to visit everyone, before my time on the computer runs out. It is the library, and their computers do run very slow compared to mine!

Hope y'all have a great weekend!

Sunday, September 21, 2008


My old laptop finally crashed yesterday, so I've been unable to visit y'all. I'm going to get if fixed by the end of the week or get a new one (like I've been hoping for since last year). Anyway, I refuse to blog from work, because those bastards spy on us! And I hate using public internet cafes because of nosy bastards all up in my business.

*Hey, mind your damn business and drink your overpriced coffee elsewhere you nosy bastard!*

I'll try to get back on line later this week. But I have to go now, as there are too many eyes in this place, and too many pretentious bastards bragging about their non existent talents and self importance. Y'all have a great week! Talk to y'all soon!


My laptop finally crashed yesterday, so I've been unable to visit y'all. I'm looking to get it fixed by the end of the week, or buy a new one like I've been hoping (and realizing since last year). I refuse to blog from work, as those bastards spy on us! I also feel a little leery blogging from internet cafes because of all these losers getting all up in my business!

*Hey, mind your damn business and drink your overpriced coffee somewhere else you nosy bastard!*

So, if ya don't hear from me, it's because I'm going to be out of touch for a little while. I'll visit again before the week is over. Take Care and Have a great week!

Thursday, September 18, 2008


I woke up at a godforsaken hour this morning to pick up a friend. I had set my alarm to go off at 4:45 a.m., but as usual, I woke up before the alarm went off. I looked at the clock, and it was 4:30 a.m. I got up, got dressed and met my friend and headed out to the gym. Mind you, I'm not a gym person, and I don't belong to any gyms. My friend, who I'll call Jym, was starting at a new gym, and he offered me a buddy pass to check the place out. Now, I was under the influence of alcohol when I agreed to check out the new gym, and in my head, I was thinking of a quick tour. But Jym saw it as an opportunity to show off the new place and get a good workout.

I thought about canceling the whole thing when Jym called to say what time we should head out. When he said a workout at 5:30, that's when I realized I had inadvertently agreed to a workout session instead of a tour. Still, I had said I'd go with him, so I needed to follow up on my word. Besides, I was a little curious to see what this gym had to offer.

Flashback Alert!

Now, I've been to other gyms before in my life, and it's a great option for people who want to work out. It's just that I'm an outdoors type of person. I just don't run to a machine first when I want to work out. I have taken a few classes at a gym, but mostly that was for college credit. Those were fun. But I did take an aerobics class once, and that was because of a challenge. I had joked with a buddy about how ridiculous those aerobics classes were. I mean, what's with the tacky leotards and bad dance moves and of course the Richard Simmons wanna be yelling out, 'and 1 and 2 and 3 and 4! Feel the burn'!?

My buddy didn't think it was so funny, as she took aerobics classes. So she challenged me to go with her to the next class. I thought about the likelihood that I may be the only guy in class if I went, but I was never one to back down from a good challenge. I said I would go with her. Besides, I was so confident that I was going to outlast those ladies without the need for legwarmers and a matching headband!

When we showed up, I was surprised (and a little relieved) to see a few men in the back of the class. We placed ourselves at the back of the class, in the 4th row; I asked my buddy why were we in the back. "Are you ashamed of me?"

She replied, "No."

"Are you afraid I might embarrass you?", I asked.

"Yes," she answered.

And I smiled and said, "Well, you should be. I'm about to blow y'all out of the water."

She replied, "Darling, you shouldn't start bragging yet. We'll see who blows who after class!"

"Sugar, now that's an offer I can't refuse," I chuckled and started singing, "Let's get physical, physical, I wanna get physical..."

"Shut up and start warming up, Olivia!," she replied.

That's when I saw the instructor walk in and greet the class. She was a beautiful, tiny Asian woman with big hair and a bigger voice! Even better, the shiny blue spandex shorts and bra she was wearing looked like a second skin, and I swear I didn't see any panty lines. Definitely not Richard Simmons! But that woman worked the hell out of us to remixes of pop, hip hop, and dance music!

We started with some stretching, some warms ups, then spent the next 45 minutes jumping and turning and twisting and reaching. I worked up a sweat, and my buddy kept giving me this smug smile. Still, I kept up. Then we went for these steps and started on step aerobics! At first, it was step on the box, step off the box. Simple. Then it was step turn step and I kept up. Then it got crazy with step twist turn twist step and I was starting to really feel a workout. My buddy kept giggling, but I showed her! I kept up with the routines for the whole half hour we were on those damned steps! And boy, was I relieved to hear the instructor say put up the steps. And I was thinking, hah, is that the best you can do? Because I'm still here!

Unfortunately, the instructor said, "Grab the mats", and I was like huh? You mean there's more? And my buddy caught the stupefied look on my face and laughed. But I refused to give up! We started with the half pushups--which was no problem. Then we did some crunches and sit ups. No problem. Then the fire hydrants; a little problem. Then came the flutter kicks; medium problem. Then the reverse crunch; big problem as I've never done this before, and my legs were hurting! I was starting to slow down, and I really wanted to stop, but I looked over at my buddy and she just kept on kicking and crunching. And I thought, oh hell no! I'm not going to stop now! I'll never hear the end of it! If I die now, at least I'll die with some pride!

But the worst and meanest exercise had to be the pelvic thrusts! And it wasn't because it was such a terrible exercise, but it was such a filthy, dirty, in your face kind of exercise. The instructor got on her back and then spread her legs apart and thrust her pelvis towards the sky! I was thinking, good Lord, I can see her camel toe! Up and down she thrusted while moaning and keeping count! I thought, hot damn if I was in the 3rd row ahead, I'd've probably seen the pearl in her oyster! And I felt a different kind of muscle starting to pump up! Luckily, I was wearing board shorts, but I was starting to strain under the mesh netting. I hoped that no one would notice. But as I looked around, I realized that I wasn't the only one who was captivated by the instructor's moves. Apparently, all the other men were staring as well. That's why they stayed in the back row! Far enough to get enjoy the view without being labeled a perv! Still, I think that instructor did it on purpose.

After that session, I bragged to my buddy that I survived. The next day, I was sore in all sorts of places on my body! I confessed to my buddy that aerobics kicked my ass! And I sure as hell wasn't going to make fun of aerobics anymore. Well, I was still going to make fun of the outfits.

Return to the present

So now I'm looking around the new gym and I admit, it seemed quite spacious. After Jym and I got towels and put our stuff in lockers, we headed out to try some of the machines. Thankfully, this gym had sanitary wipes to clean off the equipment. I've always thought it was gross how some people just sweat and drip all over the machines, and then they think a quick wipe was going to clean off all their germs. Hell, I don't think wiping a towel on a machine was going to kill any germs from other people who used it before me. All that was happening was cross contamination, the germ infested towel would spread microbes from equipment to equipment. See why I don't like working out on machines?

So after sanitizing the machines and warming up, we started to work out. Some pull ups and upper arm exercise; then some abs and upper chest exercises. After half an hour we split up. I headed for the treadmills while Jym headed for the other machines to work on his legs. There were treadmills on the second floor loft and it overlooked the floor. While jogging, I got to see all the action unfold below me. I could see some people all ready in front of the mirror walls. I always crack up when I see people work out in front of the mirror. There are always a few guys who work on a machine, do a few reps, then go and pose in front of a mirror. It's hilarious how fascinated they are with their reflections! Narcissus, it that you? What's funny is that they spend more time posing in front of the mirror than actually working out.

Then there's the group of fellas who come to the gym to socialize. To them, it's a great place to ogle the women (and men) and try to get close to them. A different kind of poser all together! It's funny seeing people try to hook up in the gym like it was a club. Sure there's music and movement, but there's no alcohol and most people come to work out, not hook up (at least in most gyms). And some people don't look attractive when they're gasping for air and sweating (and smelly) and grunting on the machines. Dudes, save the membership fee! Spend it on drinks and a good time instead! It's a whole lot less expensive but more fun way of meeting people!

Now, they had other treadmills with t.v.s in front of them, but I don't like those treadmills. I'd rather let my mind wander while I jog. Eventually, on a good run, you lose yourself in your thoughts and at some point, you reach a state of peace and blissful oblivion. I lost track of how many others came and left using the various treadmills around me, but I tuned them out. Eventually, Jym snapped me out of my reverie and said we ought to check out the sauna for a bit. We got some new towels, showered and then headed into the sauna. There were two other men there, and we just sat in our towels and let the heat work us over for about 15 minutes.

Now, I'm a little leery of saunas, and it's not just because of rude people trying to grope you when you're just trying to relax. Really, it's because people sweat in there, and who knows what other bodily fluids have been spilled in there!?! God knows what kind of organisms are evolving and blossoming in that moist heat environment! And some people don't even shower before going in there; even worse are the people who don't shower afterwards but go on to work or bars! But for a few minutes, I'm able to put aside all those thoughts and relish the heat working to ease my tensions.

After the sauna, we got more towels and showered, then headed out for breakfast. I was kind of glad that I decided to go with Jym today. Would I go back to the gym? Probably not, and Jym knew this. But he had other friends who were his regular work out buds. And I have to admit that I'm feeling a little sore in my shoulders; but that just means I had a good workout. Still, it was good way to hang out with a friend and try something different. Workouts are like life; you've got to have variety to get the most out of it.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Semi Smart Shopping

I'd like to think that I'm a smart shopper. I look at the merchandise, find what I want or need, and try to get the best price. I shop around. I look through sales ads and sales racks. I also use coupons to save money. I figure, why pay more for the same item when I can get it for less? I can use the savings for something else. There's always a deal to be made, and great finds are sometimes worth the effort that goes into finding them. For example, when I bought my first ever new car, I found a better deal in a bigger city a 2 hours drive away! I saved $7,000 and I had more choices and better service. I also traded in my used car for $200 more than I was offered locally! It was probably one of the best buys of my life!

I particularly enjoy buying stuff in bulk if it saves me money. It's a lot less expensive to buy family size toothpaste and soap and other toiletries in greater volume compared to personal or regular size. Still, there are some drawbacks. I learned just because an item is less expensive in bulk size, doesn't mean it's a best buy, especially if it's an item I don't use that often. Take milk, for instance; it may be cheaper to buy a gallon compared to the quart size, but about half of the gallon spoils by the end of ten days.

Once, I got so lazy and behind schedule, that I ran out of clean socks. Rather, than do laundry for an hour and a half, I spent less than 15 minutes driving to the store and buying a new pack of socks on sale. Sure, I had clean socks to wear for the next few days, but the end result was just more laundry to do later on in the week. Ah, the single life of man ;)

Sometimes, I get so caught up in thinking that I'm saving so much money that I don't really think about if I really need that item. For example, I used to buy a lot of gift wrapping paper, without realizing that I all ready had some left over from the year before. I see sale and my brain focuses on getting a deal, and I have to make a conscious effort to think if I really need that item. Still, it's a learning experience, and it's not all bad. One Xmas season, I came across several deals on toilet tissue almost every week. I kept buying them at different stores because they were on sale. I didn't realize I had bought so much until I had to find a place to store them. All I know is, I didn't have to buy toilet paper for over a year and a half! And that's one item you don't want to run out of in your home!

Friday, September 12, 2008


"Sure, I've slapped Tina... There have been times when I punched her to the ground without thinking. But I never beat her."~Ike Turner

Hurricane Ike is about to pound Texas Friday evening. It's a huge hurricane, as it's affecting the whole Gulf coast, from Florida across Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana to Texas! Picture Europe, and then picture how Ike is big enough to cover half the European continent. It's that big and getting bigger!

I had seen my friends off to their return flight back to Arizona. They joked that I should come with them, but I could tell they were worried. I told them I'd be fine. Besides, I'm a couple of miles from the coast and I live in an area that doesn't get flooded. And Ike has shifted and is now headed for Houston and Galveston. I've lived and work in those areas before, and some of those areas are prone to flooding. I've been keeping contact with some friends in Houston and Galveston, and some have all ready fled to higher ground and further inland. The rest have bunked down and are preparing for the worst.

The smart people have paid attention and evacuated. Some of the heavily populated areas of the coast are only 5 ft above sea level. The surge (or rise in sea level) from Ike is going to range from 10 to 20 ft. That means two story houses will be flooded. The national weather service has issued warnings that those who choose to remain in low lying areas will face certain death. Even now, homes in Florida and Alabama are already lost to the sea. And this is before the severe winds reach land and rip off rooftops and blow down walls.

I grew up in a hurricane prone coast, so I'm pretty aware of the dangers that come with hurricanes. I can always tell newcomers or people who've never been in hurricanes are the ones who like to live right on the water. Sure the view is beautiful, and everyone loves the beach. But unless you've money to throw away or looking for a spectacular way to die, I wouldn't recommend living by the water, especially in a hurricane prone coasts.

When I first moved to Texas, a hurricane followed 2 weeks later! I didn't leave then. I figured, 'Dang it! I done drove 27 hours to get here and I've just finished unpacking! I ain't packing back up and leaving!' And I stayed. In fact, I've been through 4 hurricanes that I can recall. You pay attention to the weather forecast and you plan accordingly. Now, I've never had to evacuate, but that's because I've never lived in a flood prone area. If I did, you better believe I'd've packed and moved on quickly.

So, tomorrow, since I'm not working and most places are closed, some friends and I are going to head down to the beach. First, we have to get past the cops enforcing mandatory evacuations along the coast. We plan to rendezvous at my place first, then strike out before the sun comes up. We just want to check things out--maybe do a little surfing if the waves are great :) But nothing too crazy. Hurricanes are neither good nor bad; they're just a force of nature. Sometimes, you get a little bit of good with the bad. Sometimes, when things get bad, you just got to keep on rollin'. And sometimes, you have to fight back, and learn to walk away.

“I never beat Tina, but if I did, and, I never did…but, if I did…and, I’m here to tell you that I never ever did, but, if I did, look how good she turned out.”~Ike Turner

UPDATE 12 Sept 2008 Fri 10:00 a.m. :

When we first got to the beach, the sun was just barely rising and the waves were great! We caught some really good ones and had some awesome rides! But within like 3 hours, the waves started to get really rough, and that's when we decided to pack it in.

I took some fotos of the changes that took place so quickly. Here are some Hurricane Ike effects pics:

(Click on pic or Right Click Then Open in New Tab to enlarge)

This is the skies over Padre Balli Park this Friday morning--Corpus Christi, Tx. If you look at the waves of clouds in the background, that's actually part of Hurricane Ike's reach! Those high altitude clouds are the long arms of Hurricane Ike, still almost 200 miles away from the shore!

The waves were great at first, but within 3 hours, it got really rough and dangerous. The shoreline was being swallowed up by the sea. Check out the rough waves!

Bob Hall Pier got pounded by waves. The Pier is a great place for fishing and surfing. But surfers beware, some angry anglers (frustrated fishermen) will throw stuff (i.e. bait) at surfers when they think the surfers are scaring away the fish! If ya can't catch a fish, it's because you suck, not because the surfers are there!

Here's a compilation of the Nueces County Parks and Recreation Padre Balli Office. The blue building in the left side is where we get parking and camping permits. The flooded area is actually a campsite! See the benches and gazebos overrun with water?

And where is all this water coming from? From the surge of powerful waves that have broken through the sand dunes and are forcing their way inland! The sea kept coming in faster and the waves were getting bigger and stronger. That's when we decided to leave the beach and head back inland. And this was only this morning! The hurricane doesn't hit land til this evening. We needed to leave anyway before the bridges and roads to the mainland were overtaken by the sea!

We've discussed hanging out again later tonight, and maybe the possibility of taking more storm pics. Though it's exciting, if the winds and rains get really bad, I sure as hell ain't gonna be out there taking pictures!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Mummy Dearest

I've been remiss in my postings as I'm hosting some very good friends. We spent the weekend doing lots of touristy things--seeing sights, eating at restaurants, shopping. I've also taken them to other parts of the cities that only locals know. The Alamo was fun, as were the many hours spent exploring the cities. Okay, truthfully, not all of it was fun. I'm not a big shopping person, but I know my friend luvs to shop. So I took them up to a huge outlet shopping mall, where her husband and I suffered while she eagerly ran from store to store, spending 8 hours trying stuff on and buying various items! Thank goodness for pretzels and other fast food places, because I was starving on that forced shopping march. They bought so much crap that we had to mail them to their home--too much stuff to fit in their luggage!

But the thing that really bothered me about our excursions were the museum visits. Now, I like museums. Okay, who am I kidding, I luv museums! All that art work, those fantastic exhibits, wildlife recreations, and dinosaur bones! So much stuff to see and learn at these awesome places! But no matter how grand a museum is or how impressive their collections are, I always get bothered when I see a certain exhibit. I don't like seeing mummies in any museum. And I'm not just talking about Egyptian mummies; I'm talking about all types of mummies--including bog bodies, Native Americans, and even European remains.

It's not that I'm afraid of them. But I just think it's kind of rude and disrespectful to display these bodies. Clearly, someone went through all the trouble and care to carefully prepare and preserve these bodies. The rituals and artifacts are evidence that these bodies were meant to find peace in the next life. And even those bodies who weren't ceremonially prepped after death still deserve dignity and respect as human remains.

How would we feel if our loved ones, or even we, were dug up and placed on exhibition? Isn't that a violation of our very spirit, a staggering attack on the very nature of humanity? Who decided that it was okay to display these people, especially after their loved ones took great care to prepare the bodies for the afterlife? It's bad enough they dug up a dead person on put them in a museum, but then have their coffin and belongings put on display? That's just sad and rude. It's no wonder mummies go on murderous rampages when they wake up and start walking!

While my friends spent time 'ooh'ing and 'ahh'ing over the mummies, I moved on to the nearby exhibits and waited for them to finish. I didn't want to ruin their experience. Besides, there are so many other great things that museums display that I can enjoy.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Soda Pop

Sometimes, I forget where I'm at and fall back on old habits when talking to people. I tend to assimilate pretty well in new places, picking up the local dialect and customs. I guess it's because I like learning new things and new experiences. Sometimes I use the expressions and accents without even realizing it until someone points it out.

I picked up some friends from Arizona and I was going to show them around the area for a few days. I hadn't seen them in a few years, but we've kept in touch with letters, emails, and the occasional phone calls. I told them I was going to take them to the Alamo in San Antonio, because well, it's symbolic of Texas, just like the Liberty Bell is to Philly or the Statue of Liberty is to New York. I was somewhat surprised when my friends burst out in laughter as I didn't think I said anything funny.

So when my friends saw the confused look on my face, one of them said, "Dude, you really are a Texan now."

I didn't get it, so his wife explained, "You've got a twang in your accent and said 'San Antone' instead of San Antonio, and you kept using 'y'all' and 'fittin to'."

Ah, well then, I explained I didn't realize that I was saying 'San Antone'; and that 'y'all' and 'fittin to' were things I picked up while living in Georgia. That got more laughter. When my friend finally calmed down, she said, "You even sound funnier saying 'JoeJaw' instead of Georgia!"

Hey, when I lived in Georgia, that's how we pronounced it, JoeJaw! Still, that got me thinking about some of the other phrases and expressions I've picked up over the years. In California one summer, I picked up 'you was' instead of 'you were', and I still make that slip every now and then:

Friend, "I was just at the mall."

Me, "You was?" And if I don't get a funny look, I don't even realize I've said it.

Now, I don't always pick up on all the local customs. Sometimes, old habits die hard; I still use 'fittin to' instead of the 'fixin to' they say in Texas. I also make a conscious effort to resist some terms. But it does help to know what they mean to minimize confusion. Take the word soda, for example. I call it soda. But when I was visiting a friend in Chicago, I asked for a soda, and got a raised eyebrow from the waiter. My friend had to explain that I wanted a 'pop'. And when I first moved to Texas, I learned they called it a 'coke', which was confusing as hell the first time I heard friends ordering them during lunch.

Waitress, "What you like to drink?"

Friend 1, "A coke."

Waitress, "What kind?"

Friend, "A coke."

Waitress, "And you, sir?"

Friend 2, "A coke."

Waitress, "What kind?"

Friend 2, "A Pepsi."

And I'm sitting there thinking, did I just hear that? I still call it a soda. I refuse to call it coke or pop; and I will not compromise and use soda-pop!

The rest of the day, my Arizona visitors made fun of how I said 'cain't' instead of 'can't', 'perrty' instead of 'pretty', and then asked me to explain what 'ain't' means. They about done wore me out. Bastards! Still, it's great having them here, and I'm perrty sure when it's time to say good-bye, I won't be able to resist saying, "Y'all come back now, ya hear?"

 Related Links:
The Boys of Summer
Brothers and Sisters
Once was enough
I say again, once was enough
The Good Intentioned Samaritan

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


I was standing in line at the store with my three items when I was approached by an employee wearing the store uniform. I assumed she was a floor manger. She told me that the self check out lanes were open and tried to direct me there. I told her "No, thanks"

She tried to tell me that was it really simple to use and I could be out of the store quicker. So, I told her, "Not interested. I'd rather wait in line."

She gave me this confused look, but I stood my ground. Really, is it so hard to believe that I'd rather wait for a live cashier? Eventually, she moved on, looking for some other sucker to prey upon.

I'm not a big fan of the self checkout. I hate that annoying female automaton voice telling me to "Scan Item," or "Place the item in the bag", and so forth. It sounds so smug telling me what to do, and keeps repeating itself as if trying to tell me to hurry up! And then there's the dreaded "Unable to Scan Item. Please try again," only to have it repeat it over and over, holding up the line, and eventually requiring an employee to intervene. The worst has to be the accusatory "Unscanned item in bag!", alerting everyone in the store that the machine is accusing you of theft!

Give me a real cashier. I'd rather wait in line; those cashiers need their jobs! I'm doing my part to make sure they earn their minimum wage. And that damn floor manager better be glad for customers like me who prefer living, breathing cashiers. Otherwise, she'd have no one to supervise and be out of a job while the machines take over; and a teenager getting minimum wage would be in charge of all the machines that scream, "Unscanned item in bag!"

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Blog Tips

I'm updating this post today 14 January 2018 to make it easier to make italics or bold words and create easy links in the comments box of blogs.

Just copy and paste the tag that fits your needs, then type/paste in the words to be italicized or made bold.

For Italics:

<i>TYPE/PASTE words here</i>

For Bold:

<b>TYPE/PASTE words here</b>

To make links in comments (without typing/pasting long URL):

1. Copy and Paste this link Tag:


2. In the Tag, Type in word to be hyper linked (the word/s that will take you to the website link when you click on it. It will show up as blue in the comments).

3. Copy and Paste the link/website address in between the quotation marks to replace PASTE URL LINK HERE

4. Preview in comments to see if the link works. If it does work, then Publish comment.

Original Post follows (Kept for archival purposes):

I've been meaning to finish the post since last year. I started blogging last year, and I've picked up a few things. Mostly, it's style and formatting tips. It's been trial and error, but I've got a few tips I'd like to share that I hope you'll find useful.


Ever wonder how in some comments, there are words that are italicized, or bold, or even linked (without the long URL address)?

Well, they use tags! Tags are the things that affect how words are displayed in the comment (or post). Now, if you have a blog, you pretty much know those easy icons on the Create Post menu bar that helps you create styles and format your posts.

Now, you realize that sometimes, when you copy and paste inside a comment box, the effects don't show up at all!

So, there's a reason why. Blogger seems to allow only a few types of tags to be used in the comment section. But that's okay. I've found three that have been very useful.

How to italicize words in comments and posts:

Say you want to create an italicized word or phrase in your post. I'll give you some step by step instructions, and leave the tags you need in red.

1. First, type < then the small case i then followed by > This is your start tag.

2. Type in the word/s you want to italicize.

3. Then type < then / then a small case i then followed by > This is your closing tag.

Remember, it should look like LESS THAN and GREATER THAN surround small case letter I. Then the WORDS to be italicized; finally the LESS THAN followed by a BACKSLASH then the small case I followed by a GREATER THAN.

Use the PREVIEW button on the comments section to see if it has the italicized effect. In fact, go ahead and practice on the comment section of this post. See if it works! You don't have to PUBLISH your comment if you don't want to; I just want to make sure you can see if it works. The PREVIEW button does a good job of showing you if you did it right.

How to make words bold in comments and posts:

The same rules apply to making a bold comment. The tags you need are

1. First, use the < followed by a small case b then followed by > This is your start tag.

2. Type in the word/s you want to be in bold followed by

3. Type in < followed by / then small case b followed by > This is your close tag

Remember, it's LESS THAN and GREATER THAN surround the small case B. Followed by the WORDS to be put in bold. Then LESS THAN followed by BACKSLASH then small case B followed by GREATER THAN.

Go on and practice in the comments section; remember to use the preview button on the comments section to see if the effects work.

How to make links in comments and posts:

The last tip I want to talk about are the links in the comments! Ever notice how some people's comments are blue and lead to a link? Those hyperlinked texts are easy and you don't have to worry about the long URL getting cut off when you're trying to share it in the comments.

Here are the tags you need.

1. First, type <

2. Then type a href=

3. Then type quotation marks "" followed by > This is your start tag

4. Then type the word/s for you want hyperlinked

5. Then type < followed by / then small case letter a

6. Then type > This is your ending tag.

7. Finally, copy the URL you want to link to and insert/paste it between the quotation marks "COPY AND PASTE URL HERE"

Remember, it should look like LESS THAN then the small case letters A HREF and EQUAL SIGN. Then QUOTATION MARKS with link URL in between the quotation marks. Next is the GREATER THAN sign. Then the WORDS that need to be hyperlinked. Followed by LESS THAN then BACKSLASH then small case letter A followed by GREATER THAN.

Go ahead and try it out in the comment section, and use the preview button to see if you got it right.

*Edited 11:45 am to add: When you see your blue link in the preview section, right click on it and open in new tab to check to see if it's the right link.

Now, comes the best part! You can actually use all three tags with each other! Say you want something bold and italicized, then use the tags.

1. Type the start bold tag, then italicized start tag.

2. Then type the words you want formatted;

3. Then type the closed italicized tag, followed by the closed bold tag.

Remember, your first tag should be the same as your last tag; in other words, if you start with a bold tag, then end with a bold tag.

You can even combine all three! Just remember, the order of your tags. What ever tag was first is going to be last. If you start with a bold, italicized, and linked tags, then close with a linked, italicized, and bold tags. Go ahead and experiment in the comment section and use the PREVIEW button to see if it works.

Feel free to share any tips you may have; your feedback is also important to see if the instructions are easy enough to follow, or if I can improve them in some way.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Here comes the story of the hurricane

Hurricane Gustav is about to make landfall on the Louisiana coast Monday morning. The last time a hurricane tore through the region in 2005, some 1800 people died. Hurricane Katrina was a harsh lesson for people and the government to learn. This time, the government and people seem to be a lot more prepared. The evacuation plans have been implemented and the movement of about 2 million people has been successful for the most part. Now, it's just a matter of time to see if the new levees and infrastructures in New Orleans will hold against this hurricane. Now, there are still a few people who chose to stay (looters), but they've been warned, and they'll have to live with the consequences of their choices.

While it's great to see how better the preparation for and response to the hurricane is this time, I couldn't help but be bothered by one thing. I'm curious as to why exactly are reporters flocking to New Orleans when mandatory evacuation orders have been issued. Seriously, why are these idiots out there in the wind and rain, getting knocked over, just to tell us what we all ready know: Hurricanes are destructive. The sad thing is, they put themselves in danger for just a few minutes of airtime, and at any moment, they could be taken out by flying debris or drown in a flash flood. No one would remember their names; not really. I mean I keep seeing their spots during the news, but I'm not paying attention to their names. I'm actually paying attention to what's going on behind them.

When did weatherman become the extreme sportsmen of the news team? And are they getting well compensated? I would hope so, because the footage of them falling over and getting knocked down is going to end up on blooper reels and funny videos on the internet.