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Monday, October 30, 2006

WHOA Newsletter - October 30, 2006

For those of you who celebrate Halloween:

BOO!


I couldn't make this up if I tried - Study finds 'surprising' level of paranormal belief
http://www.baptiststandard.com/postnuke/index.php?module=htmlpages&func=display&pid=5558
With Halloween fast approaching, adults across the nation are loading up on candy and decorations, planning to hunker down for a night of trick-or-treaters, parties and hi-jinx. But how many of them actually believe in the ghosts and aliens they so often display on their houses?

More than some might think.

A new study found 37 percent of Americans believe in haunted houses. More than half believe dreams can foretell the future. Twenty percent believe it’s possible to communicate with the dead. And about a quarter of the people surveyed believe some UFOs are spaceships from other worlds.

The Baylor University researchers who conducted the 2006 Baylor Study of Religion, released last month, found a “surprising” level of belief in paranormal things among people outside traditional religions.

(read the rest at the link)

Do you believe in ghosts?

I do!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
NEWS TO USE AND PASS ALONG!

(DISCLAIMER: The following news items were found on the web and were not written or endorsed by WHO@; they are for informational purposes only)


Man arrested for email threat to kill Indian PM, president - 10/30/06
http://www.todayonline.com/articles/151425.asp
Indian President, Abdul Kalam (L) and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh talk during the welcome cermony of Romanian President Traian Basescu at the Presidential palace in New Delhi on October 23. Police have arrested a man in southern India for sending an email threatening to kill Singh and Kalam

Pre-emptive moves can help keep pretexters at bay - 10/30/06
http://www.king5.com/sharedcontent/business/yip2/103006ccdrBizYip.8c28d569.html
Identity theft has many facets, and the latest is called "telephone pretexting."
That occurs when someone calls you or a company you do business with and, on a pretext, tries to obtain your personal information.

Army monitors soldiers' blogs, Web sites - 10/29/06
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061029/ap_on_hi_te/military_blogging
From the front lines of Iraq and Afghanistan to here at home, soldiers blogging about military life are under the watchful eye of some of their own.

Scammers using overpayment checks to cash in on honesty - 10/29/06
http://www.daytondailynews.com/n/content/oh/story/news/local/2006/10/29/ddn103006fakecheck.html
When Jeff Medlin of Kettering posted his 1999 Lexus for sale online, he was happy to hear from a locator representing an eager client. Well, maybe too eager.

Rude road signs tell drivers where to go - 10/28/06
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/10/28/nmsg28.xml
Commuters driving to work were greeted by an obscene message when they arrived at Crawley, West Sussex, on Thursday morning.

Internet scam: Woman duped by con man on LDS dating site - 10/27/06
http://www.sltrib.com/business/ci_4565368
After losing her husband and enduring years of poor health, all Linda Dee Warden wanted was a friend. She signed up for a trial membership on a Latter-day Saint-oriented online dating service, trusting that shared faith would make reaching out safer.

Company which sent over 200 million spam messages fined $4 million - 10/27/06
http://www.sophos.com/pressoffice/news/articles/2006/10/clarity-spam.html
Experts at SophosLabs™, Sophos's global network of virus, spyware and spam analysis centers, have welcomed news that an Australian company and its director have been fined a total of AU $5.5 million (US $4.1 million) after it was claimed they sent over 200 million spam emails in a 12 month period.

Peer-To-Peer Charges Net Prison Term - 10/27/06
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/27/AR2006102700734.html
A network administrator for a peer-to-peer Internet file-sharing system has been sentenced to five months in prison for copyright infringement.

YouTube video leads to arrest - 10/27/06
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-2425116,00.html
A MAN has been cautioned by police after they saw video of him carrying out a street theft prank on YouTube.

Congressman Ed Markey Wants Security Researcher Arrested - 10/27/06
http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/2006/10/congressman_ed_.html?layout=w
Congressman Edward Markey (D-Mass.) wants the federal government to arrest security researcher Christopher Soghoian for creating the Northwest Airline Boarding Pass Generator, a site which lets anyone create a facsimile of a Northwest Airlines boarding pass. Soghoian hoped to spur Congress to look closely at the nation's aviation security policies, which he calls "security theater."

The latest online scams - 10/27/06
http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/story.aspx?siteid=mktw&guid=%7BEC236BF5-569F-42AF-82BF-D87BC7C7B152%7D
Remember when hackers were young computer geeks gone bad, in search of infamy through viruses that wreak havoc on computers worldwide?

FBI Warns About E-Mail Scam - 10/25/06
http://www.turnto10.com/consumerunit/10158155/detail.html
Think twice about answering e-mail from the top G-man.
A new Internet scam promising cash for responding to a document request claims to be from FBI Director Robert S. Mueller. The top government cop's request is followed by a second e-mail threatening that "failure to comply will result in charges being brought against the individual by the FBI."

Oregon man indicted in Lego theft, Internet scam - 10/25/06
http://www.oregonlive.com/newsflash/regional/index.ssf?/base/news-17/1161816555204240.xml&storylist=orlocal
A federal grand jury indicted an Oregon man Wednesday on charges of stealing hundreds of thousand of dollars of Lego merchandise from stores in at least five states and reselling it on the Internet.

Internet Threat Man Charged - 10/25/06
http://www.technologynewsdaily.com/node/4967
A 20-year-old Wisconsin man has been charged for being the source of an Internet posting that threatened to detonate radioactive “dirty bombs” at football stadiums in seven states, including New Jersey, U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Christie announced today.

Librarian who stole rare £175,000 books to sell on internet walks free - 10/25/06
http://www.mailonsunday.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=412520&in_page_id=1770
A library assistant who stole ancient and rare books worth £175,000 to sell on the internet walked free from court today.

Love Rat is Netted - 10/25/06
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/tm_headline=love-rat-is--netted--%26method=full%26objectid=17992404%26siteid=94762-name_page.html
A LOVE cheat who had 100 girlfriends in 18 months has been exposed after his love diary went online.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

An update on Chris' Dad

For those of you who did not know, Chris' dad was diagnosed with stomach cancer just about two months ago. In late September, when doctors operated on him, the cancer was so aggressive they just sewed him back up and told him he had less than six months to live.

After some discussion, it was decided to do hospice and we were all optimistic, Dad especially, that he would be able to get up and around enough to leave the house, even drive and maybe work with Chris in their workshop. Unfortunately, in the past week, his health has gone quickly downhill and now hospice gives him less than a month to live.

Since Chris is not working, because he's been dealing with doctor's appointments, hospice, visiting nurses, etc, I began taking as many speaking engagements as possible to make up for the loss of income. Luckily, what with the media hype about Myspace and online predators, I have been gone every week, sometimes twice a week. That's the downside of being self-employed, we don't get paid holidays, sick or vacation days. But it's workable for now.

Chris' dad is so bad that Chris or I need to stay overnight at his parent's house to help his mom. It turns out she was not telling anyone she wasn't getting any sleep until Dad fell down on Thursday night. Mom feels like she is imposing, calling the visiting nurses in the middle of night, or even calling us. She has gotten over that.

I took over first duty last night. A hospital bed was installed in their house yesterday afternoon, with full side rails. I took a nap yesterday before heading over and thank goodness I did. His dad actually got out of bed once, then tried to get out several other times during the night. Each time, I either put him back in bed myself or woke up Mom and she helped me scooch him back up into bed. I did call the visiting nurses and they told me to give him some Atavan, which helps restlessness and he finally slept for a solid two hours.

When I woke up, Mom had him sitting up in a chair next to his bed and was looking at me sheepishly, admitting she couldn't get him back into bed.

So this morning, the visiting nurse, when he came in, laid down the law with her - no more getting Dad out of bed. He has to stay in bed, no matter what. They are coming twice a day now and a volunteer comes for 3-4 hours in the morning on the weekdays, then Chris or I are staying at night. This coming Tuesday and Wednesday nights will be bad, because I am off for my next engagement in Pennsylvania. Hospice does not have nurses available for overnight stays and hiring one to stay is expensive.

Chris' sisters changed their plans when they were told Dad was going downhill and are flying in Thursday, thank goodness, and will be here until Sunday. Chris and I will sorely need that break.

So Chris and I are not seeing much of each other right now. We're like "ships passing in the night." Our dogs, Bandit and Guin, seem to know something is wrong and have been unusually attentive.

I will be in touch when the time comes to let you know that Dad has passed away. Until then, if you want to send Mom a "thinking of you card," please email me for their mailing address. Even if you don't know her, putting a note that you're a friend of Chris and Jayne's would brighten her day.

You never expect cancer to hit your family, then it does. I have had some friends and relatives of close friends die from cancer in recent years and could not put into words any comfort other than "I'm thinking of you." Those four words are probably the best ones anyone can express.

Cancer sucks.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Monterey, California

After the scare with Dad last Saturday night, I was hoping nothing would happen while I was gone.

The car service came to get me on Monday morning at 5:45 am to take me to Boston airport. I was flying Delta. Got on the plane and luckily had the middle seat empty - yay!

But we didn't leave the gate. A tire was flat. Then they had to replaced it. So we left late. Not good.

Got to see The Devil Wears Prada on the plane and it was better than I expected. Meryl Streep was deliciously evil.

So, we made it to LAX late and by the time I took the bus shuttle to the American Eagle terminal to get my connecting flight, they had just given my seat away. So I had four hours to kill. I got back on the bus to the main terminal and hit the only gift shop, LA Gear. If you've seen Pretty Woman, you'll understand when I say the salespeople there were just filled with themselves and judging everyone who walked in.

One guy was beyond gay (and I am not being mean saying that). He actually "sniffed" at me. Hello? You work in an airport gift shop, honey. I'm the one flying to do a book signining. Gee-suz. I laughed at him as I walked out.

I ended up in Chili's to have some chips and salsa and struck up a conversation with a woman next to me who was from Texas. Turns out she works for the ad agency who represents McDonald's. Maybe I'll have an "in" when it comes to do something with WHOA-KTD. Hmmmm. Speaking of WHOA, we're now incorporated in Maine and are non-profit. All I have to do is file the federal forms and we're official.

Finally got into Monterey at 6:30 their time, 9:30 pm my time. I was exhausted. The Marriott was nice and I ordered room service, ate, then crashed. Chris said his dad was okay. Good.

The next morning I was keynote and had to run around to register, set up my laptop and get ready. While I was setting up, people in the audience were talking with the conference organizer about the previous day's keynote, noted mystery author, J.A. Jance. Nobody liked her. They thought she was a horrible speaker, make up her lecture as she went along and just was not prepared. Ouch.

I did my talk, got lots of questions and applause and people promised to be at my publisher's booth at noon when I'd be signing books. After talking with some of the audience, I headed to the booth to drop off my things and Rob, my publicist, told me a bunch of my books had already been sold. Ding, ding, ding!

I went to my room, talked with Chris. His dad didn't look good and was having trouble staying awake. He was worried. I wish I could have been there with him.

I went back to the booth at noon to sign books and had some people waiting for me - sweeeeeet. I spent almost two hours hanging out, then went back upstairs to change and go to the Monterey Aquarium. This is a MUST if you go. They have the only great white shark in captivity currently, which was very, very cool.

I spent three hours there, saw the penguins and sea otters during their feeding times (very cute) and took loads of photos, which I hope to upload tomorrow.

Went back to the hotel, dropped off the souvenirs I'd picked up for family, then went upstairs to the reception my publisher was putting on. Rob was there with some other people from Information Today and we hung out, chatting. Rob was originally supposed to go out to dinner, but he skipped it to hang out with me. He is so sweet and cute!

He told me I was his favorite author and he meant it. That made my day. We stayed there until they kicked us out at 8 pm and it's a good thing. One woman from my publisher had brought her husband with her on the trip and he was an asshole. He hovered over her, jealous if any many talked with her and was totally obnoxious. I think Rob wanted to give him a good punch. I know I did.

Sigh.

Went to my room, packed, slept fitfully.

Got up at 4:30 am Pacific time, then went downstairs to wait for my taxi.

Speaking of taxis, tomorrow I will have to tell you the story of Nascar Cab. You can just guess until then.

Saw The Lake House on the flight home - good chick flick and again was lucky to have an empty middle seat.

Long story short, got home last night, we had pizza, I watched LOST, then crashed. Had to be up early for a radio interview, then a doctor's appointment. When I got home, Chris had already gone to his parents house. His dad is NOT doing well at all. They're having the hospital bed sent over tomorrow for him. It doesn't look good.

Tomorrow we'll spend most of the day there. Mom went for a walk while Chris was there today, but tomorrow we'll make her nap and do her walk. I'll be bringing my laptop to do work on and Chris has some ship model repairs to work on in the shop.

I just hope his sisters will be able to come up here if Dad is as bad as Chris thinks he is. I know I would want to be my Dad's side when he died.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Oh, what a night!

I saw my friend, Vivi (V2 as we call her), yesterday afternoon for a massage. That's how we met, she became my massage therapist after my right shoulder would get sore after airplane trips. I really needed a massage and I have a long flight tomorrow to Monterey, California. We chatted during the hour session, then hugged and confirmed dinner last night at around 6 pm at a local Japanese restaurant.

Chris & I got to the restaurant early and had a good time.

So when we got home, we were ready to watch The Omen (the new one) and relax. Chris called his parents house and when he hung up, he began freaking out. Something was wrong with his dad and his sister, Sandy, was calling the visiting nurse to come by and would call us back. When she didn't call right back, Chris was certain his father was dying. He tried calling twice and no one picked up. I finally called, got Mom, she sounded calm, then asked to speak to Sandy. I asked her if we should come and she said yes, she was scared.

So Chris and I got dressed again (we'd changed into our jammies) and I drove like a maniac to his parents house. We got there before the visiting nurse.

Dad was having chest pains, more like heartburn and had been breathing shallowly. While I sat with him, I told Debbie and Sandy to take care of Chris, who had burst into tears in the other room. They calmed him down, the visiting nurse finally came and things began to calm down.

It turned out Dad hadn't taken his Milk of Magnesia for a few days, which would explain the acid backing up his throat and causing heartburn. The nurse made sure he had some more morphine and we were all much calmer and Dad felt better.

It was a bad scare. Chris and I are going to work out a schedule so that one of us spends the night a few nights a week to give him mom a break. The visiting nurses don't do "live in" or stay long enough and she's the primary caregiver.

Chris' sisters are coming every month, four days each time, to give us all a break, which will help.

We got home after midnight and Chris collapsed in bed. I was still wound up, so I stayed up and watched some things I'd recorded on the DVR ("Heroes" - my favorite new show and "Most Haunted"). I finally got to bed at 1:30 and slept until 9 am.

Took the dogs for their Sunday ride to get breakfast and the papers, then Chris and I headed out to do some shopping, order new glasses for him at Lenscrafters and pick up some brownies for Mom and a couple of DVDs for dad.

We got to the house, calmed Mom down, gave Dad his Milk of Magnesia of Mom2 (ha ha) and he suddenly felt so much better. We told Mom to go take a nap and I worked on my presentation for my trip tomorrow (I speak on Tuesday). Dad and Chris watched "Over The Hedge" (our new favorite movie).

We're relaxing and waiting for Mom to wake up so we can go home.

I have to pack when I get home, take Guin for walk, watch the rest of The Omen, then go to bed early.

I'm being picked up at 5:45 am for my flight.

Oy.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Delhi, NY; Chippy update; Dad update

Sunday morning I packed and got my car ready to go for my road trip to Delhi, NY. According to Yahoo directions, it would be about five hours. I figured six with lunch and breaks. I also took my massaging/heat seat cushion from my office and put it on my drivers seat in the car.

I had an audiobook loaded up to listen to, kissed the dogs and Chris goodbye and headed out. I had 3/4 of a tank of gas when I left at 10 am.

The drive was long, but with the massage action of the seat cushion, it was more than bearable. The foliage was gorgeous and when I hit my last highway, it was a two-lane road through the country, near the Catskills and even more gorgeous.

I got to the Buena Vista Motel at about 4 pm. And it was not even half as bad as the reviews claimed it was. My biggest beef was that they still had me down for one night instead of two, even after Marty (from SUNY Delhi), Cindy (from Wolfman Productions, who booked me) and I called to confirm two nights. But it wasn't a problem and the owner was very nice when he checked me in.

The room was standard roadside motel, but no hair dryer (thank goodness I thought to pack my travel one) and the travel size shampoo was a squeeze packet (thank goodness double I packed shampoo and conditioner). The room was clean and comfy. I crashed for an hour and then Marty picked me up at 6pm to take me out to dinner at a Japanese restaurant. The food was great and I got a bubble tea to go. I love that stuff!

The next morning I got up to get breakfast in the hotel lobby, which was basic continental style, but homey. I couldn't get my laptop to connect to their wireless connection, so I gave up and decided to head out to the SUNY Delhi campus to see where I'd be speaking. I didn't make it and ended up driving on a road in the back woods, admiring the foliage and ended up in Oneonta. I did some shopping at a BJs there, as well as JC Penney, then had lunch at Denny's and headed back to the motel.

I discovered that some McDonald's have wifi, so I called the one in Delhi and sure enough, they had it, so I headed there, bought a milkshake (bad Jayne!) and checked my email and caught up on things.

I went back to the motel, showered, changed, got my things ready for my talk and headed to the campus. I got lost. It's a small campus, but there are too many one ways to figure out. So I went to the campus police office and the woman there helped me get to Farrell Hall, where I was speaking. Marty and two students helped me bring my books and things in and I set up.

I joked around with the students as I set my laptop up. I brought candy with me (what college kid doesn't need chocolate, ha ha?) and talked with students as they came in.

I began my presentation at 8 pm to about 30 students and when I got to the part about Myspace, where I showcase a male and female student who put up too much info, the room howled when I showed the girl. It turned out she was working in the food court next door and someone ran to get her.

She was shocked that I found her profile and that it was so easy to find. She was shocked to realize her full name was there and I did a free white pages search to discover where her parents live. She was even more shocked when I quickly showed a post from her blog about some extremely personal things she wrote online. I gave her a locking diary (paper version) and told her to change her preferences and put her deepest thoughts in the diary and not online.

Someone called the guy I profiled - he put his dorm room number and told people to stop by and had photos of himself with a joint. He's 18 and his Myspace name was smoke2joints (not exactly that spelling).

I then talked about Facebook and how students will approve anyone to be their friends. To prove it, I found Delhi students, asked to be added as a friend and sure enough, one girl did. Without even asking me who I was and why I wanted to be her friend. So I profiled her, and how she put where she lived on campus and her cell phone number. Hello?

She messaged me the next day ticked off I showed her profile "to the world." She should never have added me as a friend. I could have been a predator.

Marty was over the moon afterwards and told me how wonderful I was. In fact, he called Wolfman Productions and they sent me the following email:

------------------------
I spoke to Marty this morning and he started the conversation with, "I am a very jaded guy when it comes to reviewing a speaker. I have been in this business way too long." He then went on to say that Jayne was "PHENOMENAL", "I have not been this impressed by a speaker in a very long time", "blew people away", "very personable", "accessible", "very relevant", "entertaining for the students", "every school needs to bring her in", and "we will be bringing her back next year".

He just got back from a conference and was swamped but said he will be writing a glowing letter later next week.

Thank you Jayne......this is fantastic!
----------------------

Thank you, thank you very much (as I take a bow).

I am blushing!

------------------
Chippy is on the lam again. He disappeared for a week last time and it's been almost week now since I saw him. But Sweetie has been coming by almost every day to take his place and almost ate out of my hand yesterday. Another chipmunk with a long tail (I'd mentioned this one as being the one Chippy "threw" at the lawnmower in a previous post) showed up this morning and ate sunflower seeds off the fence post. Chris has named him Julian after King Julian in the movie "Madagascar."

I want my Chippy back!

-----------------

Dad looked great when I saw him today. Much better than last week. The dark circles are almost gone from under his eyes and he looks like he's gained some weight back. His voice was raspy, but otherwise he seemed stronger. Chris' sisters, Debbie and Sandy, were there. They got in yesterday and leave Sunday. When I arrived, it looked like a party was going on - the hospice nurse and visiting nurse were both there.

I gave Debbie and Sandy and Mom a stuffed moose dressed in hunting gear holding a pencil as a gift and hugged them all. I told Dad about my road trip and had him laughing.

Their brother, Bill, who has been in a nursing home for many years due to his Multiple Sclerosis, was going to be coming over at 12:30 pm. Someone from the nursing home was dropping him off and picking him back up. Since I knew it would probably be an emotional time, I left before he arrived.

I love Mom and Dad like my own, but this was their family thing and I did not want to intrude.

Chris said it went well and we're both relaxing tonight.

We watched the movie, "Over The Hedge," last night and laughed our butts off. We needed to laugh.

I'm off to Monterey on Monday morning. 5:45 am. Blech.

But we're having dinner with my best bud, V2 (aka Vivi aka Vivian) and Bob.

That will be good.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

You know, when you're a publicist for big celebrities. . .

. . .such as

Elton John
Wolfgang Puck
Pierce Brosnan
Joan Rivers
Ben Stiller
Drew Barrymore
Dennis Miller
Suzanne Somers
Wynton Marsalis
Naomi Judd
Vanna White
Danny Glover
Susan Powter
Chuck Norris
Paul Reiser
Sandra Bullock

you really should pay attention to details better. The publicist for the above is my publicist. Yes, the one who screwed up my radio interviews the other day. Oh and I forgot to mention that when they sent me the list of radio stations, they listed my publisher's telephone number in New Jersey as my contact number instead of my home office number. Which means the radio stations would never have gotten me on their shows if I hadn't caught it.

And the plot thickens.

Remember the radio station that missed having me on their show because the publicist forgot to give me the station's phone number so that I could call in? Well, I had a book signing on Thursday night (noted below) and then had to take my car in yesterday morning for an oil change and checkup before my road trip tomorrow. I got several panicked emails from the publicist stating that the radio host wanted me on at 8 am yesterday.

Hello? Have you ever heard of giving someone better lead time to see if that will fit in their schedule? You do not send emails out after 6 pm the night before.

So I replied to him, yesterday at 3 pm when I finally got home from my running around on errands, that I needed more time to schedule interviews. Here's the automated reply I got. Can you see the huge error in it? Shouldn't a publicist pay a little more attention to the details?

--------------
I will be out of the office Friday, October 12th. I will be periodically checking mail, and if you need to reach me, you can call my cell at 000-000-0000. I will be back in the office on Monday.
-------------
Sigh.

So, I did my book signing at the Newington/Portsmouth Barnes & Noble on Thursday night. Clay, the store night manager, set me up at my little table and got me a mixed coffee drink. Tall, medium, whatever heck size it was.

My first person was a reporter from a local paper. Here's his article: York Woman Expert on Cybercrimes. You may have to log in to read it. He was rushing to get it in yesterday's paper, so not all the facts were correct, but it's not a bad article.

A couple of other people came up and talked with me. Three bought books. And I got my kinda crazy person. I always do at these. This young couple came up and began talking to me. She was pregnant, he was tall. He started talking about he wanted to get into doing investigations/stings on his own, like the "Catch a Predator" show on NBC. I told him he should contact his local police department and make sure what he wanted to do was legal and that he wouldn't be stepping on toes. He wants to capture predators. Period. Then he started saying he was a hacker "at one time." Hmm. Okay. His girlfriend was more interested in the basket of candy I'd brought to give away. I let her have some. Let's just say they were an interesting couple.

So at 9 pm, packed up my stuff after signing the remaining copies of my books for the store to sell later as "autographed copies" and went home. How exciting.

Have I said before how much I absolutely hate doing book signings?

Yesterday morning took the car in for an oil changes and all over checkup. Turns out I had a nail in one of my tires. Good thing I brought it in. I have to drive to western New York tomorrow for my Monday speaking engagement near the Catskills. The motel I'm booked at got horrible reviews online. This should be one heck of an adventure.

Am I sounding cynical, LOL?

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Trying to catch up

Friday, October 6th
Alexa, from ODU, drove me to the airport and was afraid we'd be late. She needn't have worried. My flight was delayed from the original flight at 9:45 am to 11:30 am due to the weather in Philly (my connecting airport). I was hoping I'd get out of Norfolk before that nasty nor'easter blew in. I did.

But once in Philly, again, flights were delayed. I didn't get on a flight until 330 pm, but had lunch with a group from Wyeth Pharmeceuticals out of Boston and a Philly lawyer who was headed to Los Angeles to visit his son and grandson. So it wasn't bad.

Finally got home, exhausted. Chris had a cold. Oh boy. I took some more Airborne.

Saturday, October 7th
Since Chris was sick, I went to his parents house to help out. Dad's feeding tube was leaking, so we called the visiting nurses and they sent someone over. Francie was nice and tried to stem the flow from where the tube was inserted in Dad, but we ended up taking him to the emergency room.

We were there for two hours. They ended up removing, then reinserting the tube, got him home, hooked him back up to the machine and it was still leaking. I left mom with a pile of towels and we put a bandage on him so that he would hopefully be okay.

He wasn't.

Sunday, October 8th
Went back over in the morning because Chris was still sick. The leaking was worse. Called visiting nurses again. I tried to call the doctor, but he was gone and one on call didn't know what the hell he was talking about. He'd obviously not read Dad's records and kept referring to him as being in the "end stages of cancer" when he's clearly not. Idiot.

The visiting nurse straightened things out with the on call doctor and he told her to remove the tube and try to get Dad to drink a protein shake or something until he could see his regular doctor on Tuesday. I did some running around to the store to pick up things and the pharmacy. Dad felt well enough to go sit on the porch. It was a beautiful day outside and he just wanted to look out the windows.

Monday, October 9th
Headed back over to get a prescription for nausea medication for Dad from the pharmacy, and to check on them both. Dad hung onto my hand for the longest time. Mom cried a bit. I feel so awful and wish I could do more. It's so hard sometimes.

I tried to cheer them up with tales about Chippy and Sweetie. Chippy actually chased a squirrel out of the backyard. Beware all squirlz!

Tuesday, October 10th
I had an appointment in the morning, then had to take the dogs to the vet in the afternoon, so Chris had to go to his parents to take them to his Dad's doctor's appointment.

His doctor reinserted the tube and made it much more secure.

Guin has a nasty ear infection in both ears - they were almost swollen shut, which explains why yelling at her was the only way to get her attention. The poor thing. Bandit had to have his nails trimmed and was not happy about it. He yowled the whole way home, bitching at me. Hmph.

Dad seems to be okay with the tube. Good. Mom was feeling better.

Wednesday, October 11th
I had to do 20 radio interviews set up by my publicist. Who are idiots. They set up only 9 minute interviews for most of the stations. Once I got started on the phone, the stations wanted to keep me longer and I ended up losing one interview because we took up so much time. Most of the DJs were upset they didn't have more time with me. Three have already emailed me to ask me back on. Good! I hope this sells a lot of books.

Went to get my nails done, then had to head over to Chris' parents. His mom couldn't figure out why the phones weren't ringing. She'd turned the ringer off completely on one phone and the other was a mystery to me. At least I got one phone ringing fine. I just had to convince her that when it rang in her bedroom she did not have to run in there to answer it. She could pick up the phone in the living room, even though it wasn't ringing.

Dad again clung to my hand and had me tell him about my radio interviews. I had him laughing. Mom started to cry and I held her. They kept saying how lucky they were to have Chris and me. And Chris had better be good to me or else. Tee hee.

I made sure they were okay, then headed home.

Lost was on last night. I was so excited. I LOVE that show. And this season is looking good!

Thursday, October 12th
The publicist screwed up again. I was supposed to call into a radio station this morning. They didn't send me the phone number. So I looked up the show and tried to call the station direct line but it was busy. I emailed the publicist and cc'd my publisher (who hired them). I am not a happy camper.

Did a phone interview at 10 am with a reporter from the Buffalo News. I'm doing another radio interview from 3-4 pm, then a book signing at Barnes & Noble in Newington/Portsmouth, NH. They did not put my signing on their online calendar. However, Chris was in the store last week to pick up a book about chipmunks for Dad and said the display was at the front of the store with my photo and loads of copies of the book.

I hope people show up tonight. It's at 7pm if you're in the area.

I could use a hug.

Monday, October 09, 2006

WHOA Newsletter - 10/09/06

WHO@ Newsletter

October 9, 2006

I couldn't make this up if I tried. . .Whoa, Nelly!

'Why the long face?'
http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_2022466.html?menu=news.quirkies
A new pub landlady got a shock when she discovered one of her regulars is a horse.

Jackie Gray recently became landlady at the Alexandra Hotel in Jarrow, Tyneside.

She says she got a pleasant surprise when carthouse Peggy joined owner Peter Dolan for a pint.

The 12-year-old's tipple is a pint of John Smiths and pickled onion crisps.

Mrs Gray said: "When I bought the pub a few weeks ago I heard rumours that one of the regulars was a horse but I didn't quite believe them. It was a hot day when the horse came in and I was shocked at first because I have never run a pub before."

Mr Dolan, 61, from Jarrow, bought Peggy six years ago and discovered her fondness for the pub when she followed him inside.

According to the BBC he said: "Peggy's no bother at all. Most of the regulars know her as she's been coming in here for years and for them Peggy's a bit of a novelty. She's a proper lady."

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NEWS TO USE AND PASS ALONG!

(DISCLAIMER: The following news items were found on the web and were not written or endorsed by WHO@; they are for informational purposes only)

IT Gone Bad - 10/09/06
http://www.redmondmag.com/features/article.asp?EditorialsID=639
In 2003, a 911 dispatcher in Pennsylvania named Michael Michalski broke into private motor vehicle records looking for his ex-girlfriend. Michalski kept digging even after he was suspended from his job. In fact, former co-workers helped him gather some data. Michalski found what he was looking for, and proceeded to track down and kill his ex and her new boyfriend.

Facing the faceless - 10/09/06
http://www.southbendtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061009/Biz02/610090406/-1/Biz/CAT=Biz02
For some, it would be unthinkable -- certain social suicide. But Gabe Henderson is finding freedom in a recent decision: He canceled his MySpace account.

Antiphishing efforts try to keep pace - 10/09/06
http://www.networkworld.com/news/2006/100906-antiphishing-fight.html
While many experts say phishers will continue to stay one step ahead of even advanced preventive measures, some security companies are developing new ways to keep the public informed about fraudulent Web sites and cut down on scams.

Feds Indict Two For Internet Scam - 10/09/06
http://www.internetnews.com/bus-news/article.php/3636786
Two Romanian nationals are facing wire fraud and identity fraud charges for their roles in a $150,000 Internet auction scheme.

Fears of cybercrime rise among consumers - 10/09/06
http://www.channel4.com/news/content/news-storypage.jsp?id=20955723
Many consumers now fear cybercrime more than burglary, mugging and car theft, according to a report.

City website shocker - cyber-bullies target girl - 10/07/06
http://www.wanganuichronicle.co.nz/localnews/storydisplay.cfm?storyid=3704369&thesection=localnews&thesubsection=&thesecondsubsection=
A WEBSITE depicting a corpse has appalled a Wanganui family and shocked internet experts who deal with cyber-bullying.

JAILED.. THE NET NUT WHO MOCKED ANTHONY MURDER - 10/07/06
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/tm_headline=jailed---the-net-nut-who-mocked-anthony-murder%26method=full%26objectid=17888542%26siteid=94762-name_page.html
A SICK pervert who put vile race-hate messages on a website for murdered black teenager Anthony Walker was jailed for more than three years yesterday.

Police probe 'cyber crime' - 10/06/06
http://www.fijilive.com/news/show/news/2006/10/06/06fijilive01.html
Police allege four locals and an Australian manipulated e-mails and websites to discredit the investor and developer of a proposed resort.

Seller of Telephone Records Settles FTC Charges - 10/05/06
http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,127393-c,legalissues/article.html
An Internet business that sold people's telephone and credit-card records has agreed to settle charges that it violated U.S. law, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission said Thursday.

TOP ADVOCATE REPRIMANDED FOR EMAIL THREAT - 10/05/06
http://www.iomonline.co.im/ViewArticle2.aspx?SectionID=870&ArticleID=1803972
A SENIOR advocate who sent a threatening email has been fined and reprimanded for committing serious professional misconduct.

Ex-girlfriend accused of Net campaign - 10/05/06
http://www.unionleader.com/article.aspx?headline=Lee+man+seeks+restraining+order+to+stop+email+harassment+tactics&articleId=59fae02c-ad93-4db6-8cb4-7c51b08224d5
A Lee man has filed for a restraining order against an ex-girlfriend he says has waged an Internet-based campaign against him.

Heavy sentence handed to cyber-blackmailers - 10/05/06
http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&taxonomyName=cybercrime_hacking&articleId=9003894&taxonomyId=82
Three Russians who succeeded in extorting money from online gambling Web sites based in the U.K. have each been jailed for eight years.

Internet Abuse At Interior Department - 10/04/06
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/10/04/politics/main2064740.shtml
Interior Department employees aren't just using their computers to oversee parks and wildlife, an investigation found. They're spending thousands of hours a week visiting shopping, sex and gambling Web sites.

Two held in web weapon probe - 10/04/06
http://www.thesun.co.uk/article/0,,2-2006460168,00.html
POLICE investigating the sale of military weapons on the internet arrested two men in raids today.

Web of hate - 10/04/06
http://www.guardian.co.uk/farright/story/0,,1887102,00.html
On the rightwing website Redwatch, hundreds of photographs of anti-war and anti-fascist activists are posted - with the message that they will 'pay for their crimes'. And now a number of those people have been attacked. So why hasn't the site been closed down?

FBI's congressional e-mail scandal case explores legal 'gray area' - 10/03/06
http://news.findlaw.com/ap/o/51/10-04-2006/e1b4001fb9d346dd.html
Former Rep. Mark Foley's online conversations with teenage male pages have all the trappings of a political scandal, but making a federal case out of the sexually charged exchanges could prove difficult, veteran investigators say.

Friday, October 06, 2006

More, more, more!

I talked with Dad the night before I left for Norfolk, VA and he sounded like his old self. I told him about Chippy and had him laughing. Chris spent two hours with his mom at the hospital on Wednesday with the head nurse, who is also in hospice. He wishes the hospital had done this last week. She answered so many questions for them and made them both feel tons better. He said his dad also felt relieved. What a difference that two-hour talk made.

I had ordered a book about chipmunks at Barnes & Noble and Chris picked it up. It's cute, about raising chipmunks and other critters and I told him to give it to his dad.

Flew to Norfolk yesterday - connecting flight, no non-stops. It was a long day. Took an hour nap after checking in to the Hampton Inn, then was picked up at 6 pm by Gretchen from Old Dominion University. Set up my laptop, checked the mic and audio and was ready to roll. The campus bookstore had set up a mini store in a side room, complete with cookies and beverages and sold the book for $14.95/each - the price bookstores actually pay for the book. I was happy about that!

About 20-30 people showed up. The organizers were upset more didn't show, but I did my thing, got a lot of questions, laughs and gasps and sold a bunch of books afterwards.

Got back to the hotel by 9 pm and called Chris.

Dad is home!!!!!

Chris said the hospital delivered Dad to the house, got him all set to go at home and showed Chris and Mom how to do the food tube thingy. Mom was a bit confused, but she'll be fine once Chris helps her with it a few times.

Dad was in a great mood, loves the chipmunk book and Chris said he looks like "old Dad." Now that he's off the medications (except pain meds) and is eating (even though via a tube), he looks less gaunt and more like himself.

Chris was exhausted and has another busy day today while I fly home. He has to take Dad to some appointments, the visiting nurse is stopping by and more. Plus he has to check on the dogs in between because I won't be home until about 3pm (as long as the flights are on time, that is).

I think this is good for him. He's busy helping out and not feeling sorry for himself. It was good to hear him tired. He needs to keep busy. We'll go over tomorrow, then take Sunday off to spend with friends for lunch.

Between Chris and I, we'll keep Mom and Dad going until Chris' sisters can come back to help out. Plus the visiting nurses are on call.

We hope to videotape Chippy on my shoulder this weekend.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Some good news

I didn't post about Chippy, mainly because of what was going on with Dad. But I hadn't seen Chippy since the day before I left for Seattle last Wednesday. I was really worried about him. Went out every morning calling him.

This morning, the other chipmunk, Sweetie, was sitting on the fence post. I can tell her from Chippy because she's bigger, has bright white circles around her eyes, bigger rounder ears (Chippy has a nick out of his left ear) and a bushy tail (Chippy's is short).

She ran when I put food out, but came back and let me talk to her.

I went on the porch, put food on the end of the lounge chair and the porch railing and waited. She came. Walked around the chair, shaking her tail. Jumped up, then down. Then up on the railing, stuffing her cheeks and watching me the whole time. I talked to her and she finally just sat there and stared at me.

She finally went away. I put more food out and went inside.

A little later, I took Bandit outside and there was Chippy! I almost squealed with delight. He almost threw himself at me. It was so cute. I put food on the fence post, then ran upstairs and out on the porch.

He came right up on the chair and ate out of my hand and on my shoulder. I talked to him the whole time, asking where he'd been. He just happily stuffed his cheeks and made a run to his house a few times.

Sweetie had come in and out of Chippy's hole, so I'm wondering if they're a couple.

Maybe we'll see babies soon!

I finally found time to upload the photos of Chippy on my shoulder.

Enjoy them!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Aargh. Cancer sucks the big one

I had to go to a mediation hearing for a car accident I was in back in 2003 yesterday morning. Can't post anything about it yet. Will when it's over and done with (trial is in March).

If you want to read "between the lines," you have to go to my Livejournal because I can make my posts private, for friends only there.

I had a ton of things to catch up on - paying bills, filling book orders, updating my speaking schedule, etc. Chris' mom called to say Dad wasn't coming home because the nurses felt he wasn't strong enough and he was nauseous. I was relieved, in a way.

I took the dogs to do errands, came home and Chris said his mom had called again. She said Dad told her we'd hugged him and rubbed his back and he felt better.

This is going to be tough.

The doctors told Dad there was no hope. No second opinion was going to save him.

So I took it upon myself to follow up on some info a friend told us about. His dad had terminal cancer and was told of Essiac. His dad took this herbal remedy and he's been in remission for several years. Another friend's sister had cervical cancer, took this and survived. I figured, what the hell? I ordered five bottles of it. Nothing can hurt at this point but hope, love and maybe this.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Things have calmed down a bit

Getting home Saturday night was a nightmare. The flight from Seattle to Detroit went fine. In Detroit, we were supposed to leave the gate at 5:27 pm. We did, but sat on the runway until 6:27 pm waiting in line to takeoff. There was weather to the west that was making the Air Traffic Controllers have to reroute that traffic. So it backed everything up.

Then, when we were third in line, the airport shut down due to thunderstorms, so no one could takeoff.

We did and during the flight at 7:30 pm, my reading light began to blink on and off. I looked up and down the plane. It was only my light. No one else's. I looked at it and watched it blink on. Off. On. Off. A few more times, then it was steady. The woman next to me raised her eyebrows.

Someone was trying to "talk" to me and I don't know why.

Hmmm.

The plane finally landed in Manchester, NH just after 8 pm.

But wait, there's more!

Everyone is standing up, getting their things from the overhead, when the pilot announced that we landed at a gate with a brand new jetway that just wouldn't connect to the plane's door. Everyone groaned. So we waited. And waited. A half hour.

We get off at last, expecting our bags to be at baggage claim already.

But nooooooooooooooooooo.

I finally got my bags, dragged them out to the car service where the driver was waiting. I told him I was exhausted. Please take me home.

I called Chris. He was dying for me to get home.

At home, as soon as the door closed, the tears began. We hugged and held each other.

Chris was inconsolable. He was blaming himself. Apologizing for crying. Good lord. I finally told him he had been doing this for two days now and he had to get himself together. I found out later he called my mom a zillion times and his sisters (at his parents house). He was a wreck. He finally calmed down enough for me to give him two Excedrin PMs and go to bed.

I relaxed on the couch with a glass of wine. I finally went to bed at midnight.

Yesterday we went to see his dad at the hospital. When we picked up his mom, she told Chris to behave and read the riot act to him (nicely). Good for her.

We got inside and went to Dad's room and he looked just like Dad. Not sick. He was smiling. I had photos of Chippy, Guin and Bandit. He loved them. I told him my airplane horror stories from the past week, he laughed. We had a good time.

Chris was so relieved when we left. He was completely different and back to normal, thank God.

Today he talked with his mom and she said Dad's doctor is talking to doctors in NYC about possibly doing something else, since he's limited to what he can do here.

Thank goodness someone is trying to do something else.

Dad comes home tomorrow. We're bringing him home. I know he'll be glad to be in his own comfy la-z chair.

Another day has passed. One day at a time. One day at a time.