The End is Near (and we deserve it) . . . Bacon-Wrapped Ford Fiesta

Bacon-Wrapped Ford Fiesta

Proving once again that everything’s better with bacon. Click on title for text article.

Bacon Wrapped Ford Fiesta

Blogs and Articles in No Particular Order

Of course with this headline, my first thought was Best Selling Author of Cop Killer and Bacon Aficionado, Ryne Douglas Pearson. A One-Way Trip to Mars via Ryne.

Why I’m on Strike Today:  I can’t support myself on $7.85 at Burger King by Willietta Dukes at The Guardian.

Stop Jumping Jack Dogs by pet whisperer and thriller author Amy Shojai.

Rihanna writes A Letter to Miley Cyrus in a level-headed response to her criminal misuse of stage time.

Big congratulations to USA Today’s Best Selling Author Vicki Hinze! She and her co-authors of the Dangerous Desires Boxed Set make the List this week. Write on, Vicki! Now only $0.99 at Amazon.

Dangerous Desires

KM Huber tells us how Craniosacral Therapy is unique. The Gentle Touch

Slenderman’s Coming for You by Catie Rhodes at Misterio Press.

A Warning to College Profs from a High School Teacher via Sonia G. Medeiros.

The brilliant comedian Christina Bianco Diva Impressions ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’ as Adele, Celine Dion, Julie Andrews, and others. Seriously impressive.

All the best to all of you for a tasty week.

Piper Bayard

Answering the Bumper Stickers

By Piper Bayard

Bumper stickers. Sort of like Bathroom Readers for the road. I wonder sometimes if people even think about what they put on their cars. Take this popular one, for example:

image from cafepress.com

image from cafepress.com

Why stop with random acts of kindness? When did the goal for kindness get lowered from “habit” to “random”? How lazy is that? This assumes I’m normally a jerk and need to upgrade to “random” kindness, or it lowers the bar from “habitually kind” to “randomly kind.”

And how about the second half? An act of “Senseless beauty.” What the heck does that even mean? Beauty is a noun, and the word “senseless” means “with no apparent purpose.” Since when does beauty need purpose? It is not an act, but a subjective experience of aesthetic appreciation of something external to ourselves.

Perhaps a more meaningful bumper sticker would be “Consistent acts of kindness and experience of beauty.”

Another favorite is this preachy beauty:

image by pbyrne, wikimedia commons

image by pbyrne, wikimedia commons

Can someone please tell me why the people driving the cars with this bumper sticker are always the first to flip off others in traffic and keep “competitors” from merging?

Then there are the politically preachy bumper stickers. “Wow. That bumper sticker really changed my mind about the upcoming election!” . . . Said no one ever.

And, of course, no discussion of bumper stickers would be complete without  the honor student bumper stickers.

image by cafepress.com

image by cafepress.com

image by zazzle.com

image by zazzle.com

image by zazzle.com

image by zazzle.com

And my personal favorite . . .

image by zazzle.com

image by zazzle.com

Seems like a few folks have their egos a bit tied up in their kids. All of this glorification of children on bumper stickers makes me want to answer with this license plate that I saw last week at Costco.

image by Piper Bayard

image by Piper Bayard

And Costco has just the lime cilantro chili sauce for that.  🙂

What are some bumper stickers and license plates that stick out in your mind?

The End is Near (and we deserve it) . . . Free Sex after 9th Car Wash

When a Car Wash mated with a Massage Parlor in Malaysia, they gave birth to a new Customer Loyalty Rewards Program.

I think the women getting their cars washed only got toasters.

image by MarkScottAustinTX

Blogs and Articles in No Particular Order 

I’m a big fan of George Takei, known to many as Sulu from Star Trek. On 9/11, he published a post he wrote on the day after the original 9/11. Reflect

Diana Beebe contemplates the ethics of eugenics and the notion that we are morally obligated to screen babies for “imperfections.” Welcome to Gattaca

A great post by Jon Acuff on what it takes to make it, whatever “it” may be. Miley Cyrus was Wrong

I’m currently reading Duplicity, a military/romantic suspense by International Best Selling Author Vicki Hinze. Really enjoying this book!

Why is it that Chris Brown can beat the crap out of Rihanna and still be popular while Kristen Stewart is tanked over an extra-marital fling? Ellie Ann has solved this mystery. How I Relate to Kristen Stewart

The vote is open in Heather Konik’s Prawn & Quartered Hunger Games! I have nominated River Tam from Firefly/Serenity as the super hero who could kick ass on all the rest. She can kill you with her mind, and no power in the Verse can stop her! Take a moment to exercise your freedoms and vote. 🙂

Girls. They’re not just scary for boys, they’re scary for parents, too. A Conversation about When Baby Girls Become Teenage Girls by Jenny Hansen at More Cowbell.

I am a hard core moderate, and there are few politicians anywhere on the planet who can make me smile, but this one did. This young man is an enterprising fellow from the Bronx. He didn’t have any money for his campaign so he made this YouTube video spoof of Call Me Maybe. I admire and appreciate his moxie. Too bad he didn’t win his primary, but I hope he doesn’t stop there.

And now for our campaign Poll Daddy question of the week.

All the best to all of you for a week of keeping it clean.

Piper Bayard–The Pale Writer of the Apocalypse

The End is Near (and we deserve it). . . . ‘Balloon Boy’ Trading Cards

Remember the dad in Colorado who made a shiny balloon in his back yard and then hid his kid in a cupboard, cut the balloon free, and told police his kid was in it?

Michael Fruitman (the name is a clue) bought the balloon at auction and is now using it to make trading cards. And people are buying them. The silver lining if the end is near is that we never have to hear about that crazy balloon dad again. Click the title below for the full story.

‘Balloon Boy’ Trading Cards Take Flight

Blogs and Articles in No Particular Order

National Best Selling Author Roni Loren last week called our attention to the fact that bloggers really can be sued for using photos they find around the internet. But she also brings us something hopeful this week. A Bright Side — Writers Building a Photo Sharing Community

A good companion to that article is August McLaughlin’s blog, Blog Images Made Easy: Tips from a Non-Graphic Artist.

Lee Child Debunks the Biggest Writing Myths over at Writers Digest.

Interesting article via Best Selling Author Larry Enright. Book Printed in Ink that Vanishes after Two Months

image from SusieLindau.com

Get this. A beaded Volkswagon. Really. From Susie Lindau, Catching the Love Bug.

Copyright vs. Trademark…Fight! Do you know the difference? A common question answered by author and publishing law attorney, Susan Spann.

In praise of randomness. Nigel Blackwell says Don’t Let Randomness Die.

And just in case you’re feeling bad about yourself today, check out Donna Newton’s WARNING: Read Only if You Want to Feel Intelligent. It’ll boost your self-esteem like a Jerry Springer Show.

Our fun video of the day is from Richard Snow. His son is a movie stunt man, Mike “Smo” Snow, and this is his Mike Snow Stunt Reel 2012.

Now for our Poll Daddy political campaign style question of the day.

All the best to all of you for keeping your kids out of the cupboards.

Piper Bayard

Goin’ on an Auto Hunt

By Piper Bayard

We’re having a little problem where our son is concerned. The problem is that he isn’t little. In fact, he’s 6’7” and built like a tank. That, in itself, is not a problem, grocery bill aside. The problem is that now that he’s 16, he rightfully wants to drive and he doesn’t fit into any of our cars unless we have the Jaws of Life handy to peel him out. So even though we’d rather drive a car hundreds of thousands of miles just to avoid ever talking with a car salesman, here we are. Goin’ on an Auto Hunt.

This calls to mind some of the fine vehicles I’ve been proud to own. One had doors that only opened from the outside on one side and from the inside on the other so people had to go through the car, not in and out of it. One boiled through the water in the radiator about every 20 miles so I had to travel with a trunk full of water jugs. Another had a front bench seat filled with junk food bags to replace the missing stuffing so people wouldn’t get hurt on the springs when they sat down. 
And don’t even get me started on the ’67 VW Beetle. To this day, I see one of those and think, “Better you than me!”

The first time I bought a car from a dealer rather than a newspaper ad, it was from a friend’s dad. I was so green it never occurred to me that he would soak me. After all, he was my friend’s dad so I didn’t have to do my research, right? It was a great car, but I waaay overpaid. Hubby and I refer to that as the Daddy Fix Me Price. It relieves us of responsibility, but only at a cost.

After a couple of unremarkable used car purchases that didn’t leave us feeling completely fleeced, I redeemed myself for the Daddy Fix Me car. It was our first new car, and I was determined to do it right.

I saw it on the dealer’s lot. A beautiful, moderate sized SUV with AWD for mountain roads and snow. It was even red with standard transmission. Perfect! I looked inside. I sat in it, played with it, let my son crawl around in it, and I walked away without leaving my address or phone number.

Unbeknown to the salesmen at the dealership, I stalked that car for a month. I researched prices, I knew what every competitor would offer me, and I knew a place with a decent non-negotiable price for a similar car that wouldn’t waste my day and my brain space playing good cop/bad cop. I even arranged financing from an alternate source. But more, the car gods were with me. The night before I went in, I saw a late night ad by the car lot that said they would beat any competitor’s price by $500.

I got up the next morning and declared to the woman in the mirror, “It will be mine. Yes! It will be mine.” Then, armed with a pre-written check for $500 under their competitor’s admittedly fair price, with tax, I walked into the first salesman’s office I saw, put the check on his desk and said, “That car. Take it or leave it, and no, I’m not paying handling fees.”

After feeble attempts to jack me up, the salesman took the check and very seriously asked me to never tell my friends about our deal. He didn’t want to meet anyone I would send him. We now have almost 200k miles on that car.

So I’ve done it the wrong way, and I’ve done it the right way. Who knows what I’ll learn this time.

I’d love to hear your car buying stories and your car disaster experiences. When have you done it wrong, and when have you done it right? What lemon cars have you had?

I could also use your input, please. What cars do you know of that have the best leg and head room? Please only recommend cars that start every time you turn the key. I am a mom, after all.

All the best to all of you for stalking your prize.