Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Virtual Sports Injuries - Xbox Kinect

We were given an XBox Kinect for Christmas, and like most people who watch the commercials, we thought it would be a great way to get the family up and moving around. It came with a dancing game and a couple of sports games.

We fired it up and put in the sports game. Now we had a party. My brother and I are very competitive, so we started with the tennis game. Like other gaming systems, for the Xbox Kinect to work, both people have to be standing in front of it. Probably not a good idea for tennis.

The first match went off without a hitch. We were both sweating and ready for round two. My brother swung for an overhead smash that caught the pull cord on the ceiling fan and sent it flying up into the fan where it was promptly cut off by said fan and sent hurdling across the room. We should have taken that as an omen.

In the last set, my brother was trying to return a vicious backhand from me. Unfortunately, his forehand had a blazing spin on it that not only went past my virtual character, but also caught me in the back nearly rupturing my kidney. We decided to take a break and let the kids play.

My kids started first and my daughter landed a wicked backhand that gave her brother a fat lip. Although, to his credit, he responded with a killer forehand that stayed in bounds and gave his sister a bruise on the shoulder.

We thought it might be best to change games, so we moved to virtual track. This time I talked my husband into playing. We started with hurdles. He had to sit down after he hurt his knee on the fake jump leaving me alone to start the javelin. I knew I had to give it my best shot, so I flung my virtual javelin for all it was worth, promptly spraining my shoulder. How does the even happen? I threw air!

We didn't do much better with the dance game, and before the night was over, we were all sweating and lining up for ibuprofen and ice packs. Who knew virtual sports could be so dangerous?

Monday, July 29, 2013

The Chocolate Bar I'd Kill For

Awhile ago, my friend, Shelbi, and I were visiting my sister. One night, they had invited some friends over for dinner. It wasn't long after Halloween, so after we ate, they brought out the left over candy bars, and we all started picking out our old favorites.

My brother-in-law is from Ireland, and his brother had just come back from England with some chocolate from there. I was surprised that the company names of the bars were familiar, but not the chocolate bars themselves. Why would companies like Nestle and Cadbury keep certain types of chocolate bars from us?

We took turns sampling the different candy bars, and they were very tasty. Then he brought out a Boost bar by Cadbury. I took one bite, and my hand gripped tighter around it as I chewed. Everyone else was talking about the other bars, but they hadn't yet tasted this little slice of heaven. I considered shoving the whole thing in my mouth, but Shelbi started looking at me and waving her hand for me to pass the Boost bar to her for a taste. I smiled and handed it over begrudgingly.

All it took was one bite, and she had the same desperate look that I did. "How can I hog this whole bar for myself?" By then, we were starting to draw attention from the rest of the group who noticed the introduction of the new candy bar. Shelbi was forced to pass it on, and we watched longingly as, one by one, the Boost bar infected each of us.

We all tried to play it cool, like it didn't matter if we were able to get a second bite. We kept talking a chatting pleasantly, but all eyes were on the Boost bar as it made the rounds. Everyone was secretly wondering if there was enough of the bar to make it around the table twice.

Then someone made the mistake of asking if there was another one. In slow motion, my brother-in-law said "Noooooooo." That was it. We all started to turn on each other. Monitoring how much each person bit off the bar. It got ugly. I wondered if I could snatch what was left and lick the whole thing before anyone could jump on me.

I was on one side of the table with my sister and Shelbi. I could probably get past my sister (she's small). Shelbi has back problems and can't run, but I would have to take her cane with me, so she couldn't hit me or hook me before I got out of range. Glancing around the table, I could tell by the looks on everyone's faces that they were also making their own Boost getaway plans.

When the last of the Boost bar was finally gone, it took the joy of the party with it. We all missed the Boost bar and knowing we couldn't get it here in the US only made it worse. All the chocolate in the middle of the table had lost its appeal.

But all is not lost! Thanks to the internet, Boost bars can be shipped right to my house! Ha ha Cadbury, your evil plan didn't work, or maybe it did...

My son wanted you all to know he did the picture for me. Yes, I'm officially old. I asked my kid to do something on the computer because I didn't know how. Hey, at least I can work the DVR. Usually.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Indie Artist Radio Station: 92.6 The Blitz

I love to share great indie news, and this is an awesome one. A good friend of mine and fellow indie author, Thomas Amo, has started an internet radio station to showcase indie artists as well as great music from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s.

It’s called 92.6 The Blitz with DJ Tom Slick. Tom not only plays great music, but shares the latest in indie news including information about authors, musicians, and filmmakers.

The Blitz is not 24 hours yet. Tom Slick’s show, The Morning Brew, can be heard from 9:00am to 11:00am PST Monday through Friday. More programming is going to be added later including interviews and fun shows like Writer’s Playlist and Roadie Rage.

For more information, you can check out The Blitz blog. If you are interested in a shout out, advertising, or other questions or comments, send an email to 92.6theblitz@gmail.com. They’d love to hear from you!

Like them on Facebook! And don’t forget to send in your “mugshot!”

Friday, July 12, 2013

Real Life Romance

You all know I’m a sucker for romance, so imagine my delight when I learned a family member had a wonderful story to tell.

My dad’s brother was an amazing human being. He was a gigantic, fun loving man. I remember when he used to have me and my brother lock our hands over his biceps, and he’d lift us up and spin us while we laughed hysterically. His wife was a quiet woman who was deeply devoted to her faith and her family. They had three amazing children together and lived a wonderful life in Southern California.

Many years ago, my uncle had a heart attack. The paramedics were able to bring him back, but they believed he was dead for some time. At the hospital, they asked my aunt what she wanted to do. She was unable to sign the papers that would have taken him off life support. Oddly enough, he started to improve, and was taken off life support. He eventually woke up, but he was not the person he was before. The damage to his brain had left him childlike, including fits of aggression. My aunt brought him home and with the help of their kids, she took care of him until heart disease eventually took his life. After his passing, my aunt focused on her family, work, and church. 

I hadn’t seen my aunt in many years when she called me out of the blue the other day. She said it was on her heart to see my dad and wanted to know if she could visit. I told her we would love to see her. She said she was bringing her mother, and she had…met someone. I was so excited for her. Their story is amazing.

They were high school sweethearts before she met my uncle. They were deeply in love, but he left her to join the seminary. She was heart broken. Very recently, they met up again at their high school reunion. His wife had passed away last year. They started talking and decided to keep seeing each other.

They both looked so happy. It was wonderful to see my aunt smiling and blushing. He is a wonderful man. I really enjoyed talking to him, and my cousins like him as well. My aunt's mom cracked me up. She said that he could only break her daughter’s heart once. So she was giving him one more chance to make it right. I’m betting he will. I’m wishing them both a happily ever after!

If you have a romantic story, please share! I’d love to hear it.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Indie-Credible Authors Tour

Hi! Sorry I've been away. I got a fun email awhile ago inviting me to participate in the Indie-Credible Authors Tour that’s going to be running the month of September. I am so excited! This is modeled after the Authors Are Rockstars Tour. They have a fun list of writers compiled, and they’re now looking for bloggers to host their fave authors or meet new ones!

If you are interested, you can get more info and/or sign up on either


They have a few author spots left, but you need to hurry! Hope to see you there!