Sunday, December 30, 2012


Most people think of winter as cold.  People who live in the northern States have the idea that Florida is warm all the time.  This is to let them know that some people who live in Florida (and points further south) think that any temperature below 70 is cold.  That would be me. 

Today was an overcast day, high was about 55, about 10-15 mph winds and I was freezing!   Mostly, I stayed inside, with the heater on, still cold.  In the winter, I pretty much stay cold, and I'm sure that some of it psychological.   I know it's cold outside, so no matter how warm it is inside, I feel cold.  Did I just hear someone say something about a wimp?  Yes, that would be me.

I was raised in upstate New York, so I know what really cold is.  I lived in Florida for years and it's a damp cold as opposed to a drier cold up north.   Not to mention that my blood got really thinned out.   Then, I went cruising and spent years in the Caribbean, where I almost never got cold, except sometimes on night passages.  Especially in the winter, with the breeze and no sun - yes, the wimp got cold.  The picture above is from Union Island, by the way. 

After cruising, I moved back to Florida where the summers are nice and warm - actually they seem warmer than the Caribbean, except maybe Trinidad.  The winters here seem to have gotten colder than when I lived here before cruising, but it's probably me being a wimp again.

Yes, I am lucky I don't have snow to shovel.  I do have ice frozen on my car on some mornings when the dew has frozen and I have to turn on the car heater - I don't have an ice scraper.  I would never be able to live anywhere north of here.   I keep saying I need to move further south........

Betty Karl

Thursday, December 27, 2012

New Haircuts

I always cringe when I have to go in for a haircut.  I wait until I can't stand it anymore, can't do anything with it and it's annoying me.  Then, I impulsively head for the salon and take my chances with whoever is free at the time.

When I was cruising on the boat, I cut my own hair.  I must admit, I did a pretty good job at it.  Other cruisers commented that they were impressed with the job I did.  It was cut short, a few inches long all the way around.  In the beginning, I tried to get my partner to do at least the back, since it was hard for me to do, but he was not good at it, just took lumps of hair and whacked it off where he thought it should be.  After fixing up a few of those experiments, I decided I did it better myself.

One time I was in Venezuela, a friend was going for a haircut in a local salon and convinced me I had to go and get a "professional" haircut after all my years of cutting it myself.  OK, I decided I'd take a chance, it would grow back anyway.  It was the worst haircut I've ever had  - she couldn't get one side to match the other in length, so she kept going from one side to another and clipping more off until I nervously told her it was enough.  I figured I could even it up and hope it would grow FAST!  It was SHORT!   I felt naked - quick, get the hat!

That was the end of my foreign haircuts while cruising.  While I was waiting for the boat to sell and planning to move back to land, I decided to let it grow a little longer.  While it grew, I'd trim the bad ends off and kept it looking decent. 

I've now let it grow about shoulder length and simple - it has to be simple because it won't do anything anyway  - no curl at all.  Any curl put in lasts about 5 minutes and I can't stand all that mousse or spray. 

I go to the same place now to get it trimmed and that gives me a little bit of security that I won't be scalped.  A new haircut feels good, the ends are fresh and they behave a little better than when they're split or old.  Maybe next time I won't wait until I can't stand it before I get it trimmed again.

Betty Karl

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas - Happy New Year

As I write this, Christmas is pretty much over.  I've had a good day, made pumpkin bread this morning for dinner at a friend's relative's house.  In their family, traditional Christmas dinner is lasagna.  Not what I've been used to most of my life, but I love pasta, and therefore, was very happy with the choice.  Of course, I'm always very happy when someone else cooks for me.

I'm really not much of a Christmas person, I'm always glad when it's over.  The end of the year always seems like a good time to me.  A new year seems to promise new things, better things, maybe things will somehow magically be perfect.  Of course, I always say I'm going to make more of an effort at losing weight in the new year - how many years have I said that?  Well, some years I've succeeded, and then gained it again!

Whatever your feelings for the season, I hope you've had a wonderful time.  A time of memories full of good people, good food and good times.  Next year, I hope the world will finally be at peace.  I wish for peace and prosperity for everyone, and I hope they enjoy themselves.

Happy New Year!

Betty Karl

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Windows 8

Just wanted to tell you all, be nice to your computer.  My 5 year old computer died a few weeks ago and I had to go out and get a new one.  The new one just happens to have Windows 8!  I am not happy with Windows 8!  I had Vista on my old one and Windows 7 on my computer at work, no problem.

Windows 8 wants to look like an IPhone or an IPad.  It has little squares app buttons on it, all preloaded, most of which I dumped.  Thank goodness, it also has a desktop app that you can work with.  There isn't a Start button in the normal place.  Instead, on the right side of the screen, right where you go to use scrolling for sites, it has a small window that appears usually when you don't want it to.  The Start button is in there, as well as settings (which is where you shut down) and a few other things.  It's where you can find your Control Panel and a few other things.  It's annoying because when I don't want it, it pops up  - then when I want it, it's bashful and takes prodding to come out. 

There are other things like a wrong swipe of my finger on the mousepad will make my screen go to the previous page.  Sometimes, a wrong sweep of the mouse will take me elsewhere.  My computer didn't come with a touch screen, which is fine with me.  Apparently, a lot of them do, which would make it more like an iPad.

The new computers don't come with Word or Excel - Microsoft wants you to pay extra for these programs that have been free for ages.  Some people can get away without these, but Word is important to me.  I have tons of files that use Word and the Word Viewer that I can download free does not do the trick. 

They even made my Spider Solitaire hard to work with.  When you're on that program, you don't have the time showing like you did in previous editions of Windows.  You need that to remind yourself how much time you're wasting!   You can't make the screen smaller so you can go play a game when you want to get away from whatever you've been working on and then easily go back to it.  They have a lot of graphics if you win a game - very annoying, unnecessary stuff you could turn off on the old systems.  I can't figure out how, or if, these can be turned off.  Yes, these are silly gripes, we all have our nitpicky opinions.

My IT guy at work told me of a program I can download that will make it look/work like Windows 7.  I want to be brave and just download it and think all this annoying new stuff will be gone.  However, I know that I've downloaded stuff before and have been VERY annoyed at the results, and  then spent a lot of time getting rid of what I spent a lot of time to get!  I will plan a day when nothing else is likely to happen. 

I guess the bottom line is that I had my old computer working the way I wanted, it didn't pop up with stuff I didn't want and couldn't figure out how to get rid of.  I was comfortable with it and now Microsoft wants to take me out of my comfy cocoon and make me learn to deal with their idea of great programs.  I was happy in my little rut. 

Like I said, be nice to your computer.  It may get even with you in the future.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Mental Jukebox

I like music, I have it on in the car all the time.  Whenever I walk for exercise, I have my little MP3 player going, all different kinds of music.  If I'm doing housework, painting, I have music on to make it more fun.

Sometimes, in the morning, I wake up slowly and I have a song going through my head.  I never remember the dream I was having that may have included it.  Maybe there was no dream, maybe it just popped into my mind or maybe it was next on my mental playlist.  But it's there, and I can't get it out of my head until I get more music into my head to replace it  A lot of the time, it's something I haven't heard for a while, could be months since I've heard it - was my mind just missing it and wanted to hear it?   Most of the time, it's music I like, so it's not a problem.  I usually enjoy what's playing in my mind. 

One morning, I woke up to a song running through my mind, and of course, I can't remember now what it was.  It was a song that I didn't like, REALLY didn't like, and my brain was repeating that chorus.  I had to find something else to listen to before it really annoyed me.  Whatever my theory is on this jukebox, I can't explain it playing music I don't like.  It was obviously something that was popular at one time and there was no way I could avoid hearing it.

I have no explanation for this, but most of the time, it's enjoyable.  Here's hoping if you have the same thing happening, it will be music you like.  I can't believe I'm the only one this happens to.



Saturday, December 1, 2012

Psych Ward?



Psych Ward?


I work in a doctor's office, have been at the same job for quite a few years. I like most of my patients. I know most of them by name, even know their spouse's name . They come in and we catch up on news, we're more friendly than some of my family members, actually more than most of them.

Full moon comes about once a month. Believe me, full moon does change things. People become a little bit more unreasonable, more demanding and then there're the ones who haven't been in for months and expect that we can see them NOW, doesn't matter that we already have a full schedule, and by the way, we're not a walk-in clinic.

At one time in my life, I owned a bar/restaurant and noticed that during full moon, we would see people we hadn't seen since last full moon. And the regulars got just a little bit more strange. It got REALLY interesting during "that time of month".

I've heard from police officers, medical staff in emergency rooms and other physician's offices (not to mention the actual psychiatric institutions) that they also notice during full moon the rise of unusual behavior. It can't be just me that sees this, other people have noticed.

Did anyone feel like howling at the moon a few days ago?? Did you feel like dancing on tabletops? How about any other erratic behavior (or erotic, whatever....)?