Undie Chronicles, Volume 21: The Commando Conundrum

Those of you who are new to More Cowbell might have missed The Undie Chronicles. The regular posse here knows: When the Undie-verse speaks, we will always listen. Who’d have ever thought we’d get into the TWENTIES in this series? Not me. I had no idea when this began that there were so many hilarious things to wear under our clothes.

The Hubs has a birthday coming up this next week, and I’m in a complete conundrum about what to get him. I mean, under-the-clothes paraphernalia is the logical thing, but um, well…hmmm. (He said I could tell y’all.)

Hubs is a Commando Guy. Like Joey from Friends. You remember that episode, right?

I briefly considered trying some of our original undies from the Knitted Nothings Lithuanian woman I prize…but with the Commando thing, it would be throwing away money.

Man-Undies_Elephant-Grey_Etsy

Then I toyed with the notion of getting some of the fun undies my pal Alicia saw in Vegas for me, just to entertain him. (We named them “Lickies” back when we first chatted about them.)

Lickies

I never did get him the Thunderwear (because I’m still worried about him shooting off his junk) – details and videos on Thunderwear here. But Thunderwear is still an option.

Maybe I should just get him some new jeans and socks. Perhaps a firestarter or two, or some cool camping gear. Of course, when I looked up survival stuff, I came across this porn YouTube video. (Don’t fret, this is a kid friendly video.)

Note: I have NEVER seen a girl “on the trail” dressed like that, wearing flip-flops and bikinis. I think this is some false advertising. I’m just sayin…

What are your recommendations for a classic Commando kind of guy? He likes gadgets, his family and good food and wine. I need your thoughts and suggestions, people! Enquiring minds NEED to know these things here at More Cowbell!

~ Jenny

Posted in Humor, Undie Chronicles | Tagged , , , | 30 Comments

Ring Your Cowbell: It’s Time for ‘Pimp and Promote!’

I adore my online friends. They are some of the best people I’ve ever met, even when I don’t get to see them live. But when I DO get to see them, it’s Nirvana. I know that many of you have experienced this and know it to be true. Most of us spend several hours a week online or at our blogs.

The friendships we make online matter.

I’ve got my pal, Piper Bayard, in town with her Darling Daughter and it’s fantastic. Today we’re going to hit the beach and go whale watching. I’ll be approving all your links and snazzy shout-outs from the boat.

On the way to our respective mattresses...

On the way to our respective mattresses…

Now on to the Pimp or Promote!!

Here’s the rules:

I’m taking a page out of Chuck Wendig’s book once again and throwing open the doors of the comments section for the following (he makes people do one of each, just sayin….):

  • Pimp out somebody else’s work – this can be a favorite author, blogger, post or book you’ve read, a wonderful teacher or just someone who had profound influence on you as a writer or a person.
    OR
  • Promote one of your projects that you’re excited about – a hobby, a blog, a book, a new direction your writing is taking you. You decide. Just tell us all about it in the comments! The rest of us will jump in and “ooooh and coo” at you, and likely promote your project even further (because that’s just how we are).

To give you an example:

Here’s some pimping of some of my aforementioned online pals:

My Promote:

I’m teaching a OneNote class starting Monday 3/24:

      • Course title: OneNote: The Simple Organization Tool for Writers
      • Course time: webinar next Monday March 24th at 7 pm EST - it’s available OnDemand afterwards, so don’t worry if you can’t make it.
      • The initial webinar is followed by two weeks of online time where we cover the material and create notebooks. We finish with another quick webinar recap.
      • Use the discount code MORECOWBELL for $10 off!

There are some special things in store for this first class:

      1. A member of the Microsoft OneNote team will be auditing and answering questions about all the new coolness.
      2. A drawing will held to give away a subscription of Office 365.
      3. Any interested authors will be entered into a drawing to be a guest author for the Microsoft Office blog. In return for the description of how OneNote helped you “get it done,” Microsoft will promote the winner’s novel at the bottom of the post. You can’t buy that kind of book publicity, authors…but you have a chance for it with this class.

Click here to sign up! And here’s more information on OneNote.

What are you excited to pimp or promote today? Let’s see those links in the comments section! Enquiring minds always want to know what’s going on with you here at More Cowbell. :-)

~ Jenny

Posted in More Cowbell | Tagged , , , , | 38 Comments

5 New OneNote Features That’ll Make Your Creative Life Easier

OneNoteIconAwhile back, I did a post at Writers in the Storm called 10 OneNote Features That Will Rock Your Writing World. I love this program so much, particularly for writers, I’ll be teaching a whole class on it next week. (More on that at the end of the post.)

I honestly didn’t think OneNote could get much better but…this week, it did.

Microsoft just unveiled several new changes to OneNote, but here are the FIVE that will make writers dance with joy.

1. It’s now free.

Yep, a cool new app…available across all platforms and tablets…gratis. (Let the squeeing begin!) Writers are poor, so this is exceptional news.

You might also remember that I got my Hubby to take over the grocery shopping with OneNote. Now that’s power!!

2. OneNote for the Mac.

All I hear from my Mac pals is “Evernote, Evernote, Evernote” and I’ve looked at it to see what the fuss is about. Evernote is good. OneNote is even better. However, it wasn’t available for the Mac until yesterday. (Download from iTunes)

As Microsoft says:
With this, OneNote is now available on all the platforms you care about: PC, Mac, Windows tablets, Windows Phone, iPad, iPhone, Android and the Web. And they’re always in sync.

That’s pretty studly. More details on the Mac version here.

Also a quick video clip:

3. OneNote Clipper

It’s very similar to Evernote’s own clipper, with support for all the web browsers (including Safari and Firefox). You can even email web links or just notes to me@onenote.com.

To get started, visit www.onenote.com/clipper and follow the instructions to add the purple “Clip to OneNote” button to your Favorites bar. To clip, just browse to any webpage and click the Clip to OneNote button.

More details on the easiest way to save anything on the Web into OneNote.

4. Integration with printers and apps like Feedly and Office Lens.

It’s exceptional to be able to print right to OneNote, but I was already set up with that on the Windows side. What I’m most excited about is the integration with so many new apps.

Here’s two that might interest y’all:

When Google Reader went away last year, many of my fellow bloggers freaked because that’s how they kept track of the blogs they followed. Most of them went over to Feedly, which now integrates with OneNote.

Microsoft also launched Office Lens for Windows Phone yesterday, an app that will take a picture of a whiteboard, document, or business card and enhance it for viewing, while automatically recognizing the text for OneNote entries.

Why am I excited about Office Lens?

I hate paper. I lose paper. A program like this, available on my phone, is practically orgasmic for me because: “YES! No more paper.” I can’t wait until they spread the Office Lens opportunity out to other platforms.

Livescribe35. One word: Livescribe

Some writers simply MUST write longhand. It’s part of their creative process and that’s what they do. The End.

Your time has arrived, Longhand Writers.

Currently, I write with my stylus on my Surface, then use the “Ink to Text” feature to convert my writing to searchable text, which is pretty cool. There is also a “Math to Text” feature in the new version that rocks. But the tablet is small, and it stops my flow to scroll down.

What if I could just use special notebooks and a Livescribe 3 pen to write and make diagrams, then send all that straight to OneNote on ANY device? Oooooooh!

Here’s detailed instruction about how to use OneNote with Livescribe.

A great visual of the new OneNote:

OneNoteIntegration

Okay a few more things…

There’s a Twitter chat today for those of you who have more questions, or who just want to get the info straight from Microsoft. Use the #OneNote hashtag to follow along at 9:30 am Pacific/12:30 pm Eastern. The discussion will be moderated by @joe_block.

If you’d like to have a class on OneNote, led by yours truly, a two-week online course begins next Monday. The materials are geared toward creatives but it’s open to anyone.

The deets of this OneNote class:

      • Course title: OneNote: The Simple (Kinda Sexy) Organization Tool for Writers
      • Course time: webinar next Monday March 24th at 7 pm EST - it’s available OnDemand afterwards, so don’t worry if you can’t make it.
      • The initial webinar is followed by two weeks of online time where we cover the  material and create notebooks. We finish with another quick webinar recap.
      • There are various levels for the class, depending on if you just want the knowledge or if you need active one-on-one help setting up your notebooks. Be sure to click the course title link above to see what’s included for the Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum levels.
      • Use the discount code MORECOWBELL for $10 off!

Lastly, we’re going to have THREE special things for this kickoff class:

      1. A member of the Microsoft OneNote team will audit the class to answer any questions on the technologies and features that are still new.
      2. A drawing will held to give away a subscription of Office 365 to one lucky attendee.
      3. Any interested authors will be entered into a drawing to be a guest author for the Office blog – in return for the description of how OneNote helped you “get it done,” Microsoft will promote the winner’s novel at the bottom of the post.

Really, y’all…how can you beat that? (You can’t! This inaugural class is the only one that will have all this, since it comes so quickly on the heels of Microsoft’s rollout.) Click here to sign up!

Did you know Microsoft was doing all these cool upgrades? Are you an Evernote user? (If so, tell me your fave feature down in the comments so I can let you know how OneNote for the Mac stacks up!) What are your questions? Enquiring minds always want to know these things here at More Cowbell!

~ Jenny

Posted in OneNote, Techie Tuesday | Tagged , , , , , | 29 Comments

3 Posts That Made My Cowbell Clang

Surprisingly, this did NOT come to me from Facebook... From: www.ginavalley.com

Surprisingly, this did NOT come to me from Facebook…  ~   Photo credit: http://www.ginavalley.com

Seriously, these posts made me laugh so hard, my Cowbell slipped (if you know what I mean.)

#1

I adored Heather Curley’s entire post, I  laugh in church. Loudly., but this sentence started the gigglefest:

“Look, I’m perpetually twelve.  If you leave the door open just a crack for sexual innuendo or fart jokes, I come crashing in like the Kool-Aid man.”

#2

And I don’t know about you, but when Daylight Savings Time hits each spring, I long (like 10 times that Sunday/Monday) to live in Arizona where they don’t bother with this crap. Gina Valley expresses it perfectly in Top 10 Reasons Daylight Savings Time is the Devil.

Incidentally, #3 on her list completely happened to us:

“It makes everyone arrive 30 minutes early for the second service at church on Sunday morning, when we were in fact all shooting for the first service, but forgot to adjust our clocks.”

#3

And finally, the post that has yet to be beat – I still go back and visit it every few months for a gigantic belly laugh: Surviving Whole Foods by Kelly MacLean.

She had me with this opener, but every time I read this thing I practically go into convulsions. I swear, I’ve been to her store.

Whole Foods is like Vegas. You go there to feel good but you leave broke, disoriented, and with the newfound knowledge that you have a vaginal disease.

And a Monday bonus for my posse…

The best video I saw this week was from Donnalou Stevens. Not only is her voice fantastic, but anyone over forty will likely die laughing over it. It’s called “Older Ladies” and you might have to be on Facebook to view it. I promise, it’s worth it! Donnalou is like the Gloria Gaynor of the new millenium.

Part of the chorus:

“If you want a younger model, I wish you well, Sweet Pea.
Cuz if you can’t see what it is you have, then you ain’t having me.”

Happy Monday! I’m wishing a glorious St. Paddy’s Day to y’all. :-)

What funny stuff have you stumbled onto this week? Do you have any plans to get in touch with your Irish side today? Enquiring minds always want to know these things here at More Cowbell!

~ Jenny

Posted in Humor, More Cowbell | Tagged , , , , | 16 Comments

4 Spooky Beauty Tips From “Back in the Day”

Y’all know my first question to blog guests is: “What kind of undies are we talking about?” I’ve gotten some really great answers over the years, but today’s guest is simply too dignified to flip up her skirts for our amusement.

Here’s a sassy 19th century gal, talking about some really spooky products. All of my comments are in pink. :-)

*  *  *  *  *  *

19th century women: personal enhancements
by Concordia Wells
translated by K.B. Owen [with plenty of commentary by Jenny]

Although I am by no means an expert on what constitutes female beauty, the charming Miss Hansen has asked me for my insight in regard to the common beauty issues for which the ladies of my time seek remedy.

[My actual question: Whatcha got on under all those clothes?]

I’m happy to oblige, although I must warn her that the remedies are at the least a waste of money, and at the worst ridiculous.

[Don't you LOVE how fancy they spoke back in the day??]

A Lady’s Hair

The ideal for a woman’s hair is that it be soft, full, lustrous, and manageable. Such qualities are considered indicative of youth and good health. Sadly, many a lady experiences dissatisfaction – anxiety even – over the state of her hair.

[Well, that hasn't changed in a 100+ years...]

I am not immune to such a condition, as my own hair never behaves as I would wish: it continually comes out of its pins, and is a most unfashionable shade of red. Tonics and treatments galore are available, although the effectiveness of these are called into doubt.

Here is one such tonic:

KBOwen_HairTonic

Quite a number of claims are made in the advertisement, particularly that of a baldness cure. If that were the case, I know many a gentleman who would have availed himself of such a remedy.

A Lady’s Complexion

Mottled skin tone and blemishes are the frequent bane of a woman’s beauty routine, and there are no end of homemade and druggist concoctions available to meet demand. I suffer from freckles myself, and I’ve found only by reducing sun exposure does one find relief. I have since thrown up my hands in surrender, since I will certainly not give up my bicycle-riding to satisfy the demands of beauty.

[You GO, Concordia! I think freckles are gorgeous angel kisses. Keep on biking...they might not be able to see that perky behind under all those layers, but you'll know.]

Here is a popular product that some ladies use:

KBOwen_SkinCream

Thank goodness we have moved away from the use of arsenic in complexion creams, which was a truly dangerous practice.

[Arsenic and skin? *shudders*]

A Lady’s Size

When one partakes too much of the pleasures of the table and not enough of the joys of outdoor exercise, a lady can find her size expanding and her clothes ill-fitting. Often she attempts to seek a quick remedy, such as this:

KBOwen_DietPills

[Oh, now come ON, 19th c advertisers! *grumbling*

Concordia, my darling, since you've popped up here to the 21st century with us, we're gonna send you back with some tools (IYKWIM). I think it's time to get over to August McLaughlin's place for some Girl Boner tips. Take those back in time and see how everyone reacts.]

Setting aside the ill-advised form of address – one cannot imagine any lady taking kindly to the term “fat,” no matter how much room she occupies on a park bench – I doubt the effectiveness of such a product. Wouldn’t everyone be trim if it were so easy and affordable?

A Lady’s Bust

Many a woman sighs over the flatness or general inadequacy of her bosom. Instead of appreciating what Providence has given her, she seeks to enhance its size with a product such as this:

KBOwen_BustEnhancer

The left edge is hard to see, so I will provide the quotation:  “If Nature has not favored you with that greatest charm, bosom, full and perfect, send for the Princess Bust Developer, and you will be pleased over the result of a few weeks’ use.”

[With all those layers, you're telling me these gals had no precursor to the push-up bra?]

One would hope that the cream itself is at least harmless, but the plunger-style apparatus makes one shudder, does it not? As I do not have personal experience with such foolishness, I cannot speak to the effectiveness of such a product. However, I have yet to notice among any women of my acquaintance a sudden change in her silhouette, or a dramatic improvement in a gentleman’s attentions towards her. It seems a sad waste of money.

All I have to add here, is thank God Corcordia is a woman of good sense (who knows enough not to buy all this crap). We’re sending her back to her time with voting pamphlets and some Girl Boner products. We’ll see if that brings a smile to The Ogre’s face.

Here’s more about Concordia Wells and her Unseemly Adventures:

KBOwen_UnseemlyPursuitsA deadly secret that won’t stay buried…

It is the fall of 1896, and Miss Concordia Wells is hip-deep in the usual tumult of a lady professor’s life: classes, clubs, student pranks, and the unending drama generated by the girls she lives with on campus.  Complicating this normality is the new Lady Principal, whom the students have nicknamed “the Ogre.”  The woman seems bent on making Concordia’s life miserable.

And then there’s the exotic spirit medium, Madame Durand, who has befriended Concordia’s mother and has started a “Spirit Club” on campus.  Madame’s prognostications of doom are at first only mildly irritating – until events take a sobering turn.  An ancient Egyptian amulet donated to the college mysteriously disappears, the donor is found murdered, and his daughter – Concordia’s best friend – confesses to killing him.

Desperate for answers, Concordia unravels a 20-year-old secret, closely guarded by men now dead.  But such secrets can be dangerous for the daughters left behind, including Concordia herself.  Can she make sense of the mystery that has bound together their fates, before it’s too late?

Where can you buy Unseemly Pursuits?

Kindle: http://amzn.to/1gmn7h1
Paperback: http://amzn.to/1iD2BaS
Nook: http://bit.ly/1nlTNN5
Smashwords:  http://bit.ly/1cVnqL6
Kobo: http://bit.ly/1fslk5y
iBooks:  http://bit.ly/1lYBprV

And there’s an Unseemly giveaway!!

KBOwen_UnseemlyGiveawayDuring K.B.’s Unseemly Pursuits book tour, which ends HERE, there’s a giveaway at each blog stop.  The winner, randomly drawn from the commenters at each stop, will get a free ebook copy of Unseemly Pursuits.

Next week, Kathy will hold another random drawing from among the ebook winners for the final prize: a special Concordia Wells series swag package! It includes customized mug, keychain, JellyBelly mini-tin, and signed paperback copies of the first two mysteries: Dangerous and Unseemly and Unseemly Pursuits. You can read, sip your coffee, and snack on candy in unseemly style.

More Cowbell is the last stop on Kathy’s tour, so leave those comments for a chance to win! She’ll announce all of the winners next week. Check the sidebar on the home page of http://kbowenmysteries.com to see the previous stops and learn more.

About Concordia’s Creator:

KBOwen_PhotoK.B. Owen taught college English at universities in Connecticut and Washington, DC and holds a doctorate in 19th century British literature.  A long-time mystery lover, she drew upon her teaching experiences to create her amateur sleuth, Professor Concordia Wells.

Unseemly Pursuits is the second book of the series.  The first book, Dangerous and Unseemly, was published in early 2013.

K.B. currently lives in Virginia with her husband and sons, and is busily planning the lady professor’s next adventure.

Posted in Amazing Writers, Reading | Tagged , , , , , | 65 Comments

Holy Cowbell, Who Declared It “Vajayjay Week?!”

I must have an invisible “V” tattooed on my forehead this week. In addition to it being International Women’s Day this weekend, I’ve had no less than THREE people send me items via email or Facebook that celebrate “The Bird,” as my gal pal calls it.

Is it because of Spring Break? Lent? What?

Sure, I dig vaginal humor as much as the next gal, but it’s surprising to get bombarded by it in the course of forty-eight hours. I’ve got to check and see if we’re approaching the full moon. (No pun intended.)

And you know I can’t keep these things to myself. I must share the wealth with my posse here at More Cowbell.

So….

There was this fab cartoon of my beloved minions from Rebel FM the Rock Station’s Page.

Minions_VaChina

Another pal sent me an email titled, “Move Over Crossfitters, there’s a new Strong Woman in Town!” Meet Tatiana, owner of the world’s strongest vagina.

WTH?!

Why? Dear God, WHY must you be able to lift a 30 pound kettlebell with your Coo? I just don’t understand why we need strength training of this particular body part? Since when are kegels not good enough? Plus, I’ve blogged on PantyO’s and the Bladder Dominatrix. There’s tools out there, Tatiana. Kettlebells seem a bit excessive to me.

It sometimes amazes me the kinds of talents people spend hours developing.

I’ve seen my brother and boy cousins practice underarm fart songs for hours. And I have a girlfriend who can burp the entire alphabet. It’s fascinating in a dubious, squinchy kind of way.

I always wonder: What motivated you to practice this talent until you were perfect?

Like, what motivated Amy G to perfect this talent? (And why did I get tagged with it?)  Warning: This video is NOT suitable for work or for kids.

I do have to give Amy some serious points for showmanship. Even if I cringed the whole time I watched, her face in that link above is priceless.

But… (You knew there’d be a “but.”) Wouldn’t it be more practical, and less embarrassing, if she’d stuck with playing the kazoo with her mouth? Who suggested she move her musical talents south and take them to the stage?

Personally, I’d be kind of depressed if all my musical talent was centered below the waist. How would you share your giftedness at weddings and funerals?

But let’s turn this discussion over to all of you. Do you have any secret special talents? What are they? Has it been “Vajayjay Week” in your neck of the woods too? What is UP with that? Enquiring minds always want to know these things here at More Cowbell!

~ Jenny

Posted in Humor, More Cowbell | Tagged , , , | 17 Comments

Lefty or Righty: Are You The Hand You Think You Are?

Notice I tilt the paper? No smear +”straight” writing!

Kathy Owen did a post a while back called Land of the Lefty that I absolutely loved. Not only did she have turbo cool facts about Lefties, but she got me thinking about my own handedness.

I grew up left-handed and thankfully bypassed all the “re-training” that was so common in the decades before I was born.

My father is right handed but both my mother and big brother are lefties. I mimicked my brother (yes, I’m talking about the world-famous Bag Whore here) in everything else, so I’m sure the same was true of my handedness.

As the daughter of a military man, I grew up with guns and the joke was that I shot equally well with my eyes opened and closed. I missed everything, whether it was a clay pigeon or a stationary target.

This was a big deal at the time.

Firstly because we were at the shooting range at least twice a month, which equals lots of embarrassment. But mostly because, as the baby sister, I wanted to best my big bro at anything I could. My shooting deficiency frizzled my britches…big time.

When I was about twelve, I finally had a skeet shooting instructor watch me in action and ask my father what my dominant eye was.

“She’s a lefty. Her left eye is dominant.”

Only it isn’t.

[Here's how to tell which is your dominant eye for shooting.]

We adjusted both the gun and the way I eyeballed things and I hit every clay pigeon that sailed by. In fact, until my brother went into the military, he never beat me shooting again.

Note: Those days are long gone. Mr. Sniper Instructor kicks my a$$ now.

For years, my father swore I was actually “a right-handed person, trapped in a left-handed psyche.” That I’d been brainwashed by the lefties in the household…blah-blah-blah.

Fast-forward to 2007 when my writing chapter had Sheila Lowe, a handwriting expert, come visit. To listen to her analyze the personalities associated with various types of writing was…WOW! Ms. Lowe wrote The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Handwriting Analysis and a nifty book called Handwriting of the Famous and Infamous and I’m a big fan.

She had us do a few exercises where we’d hold the pen with our fingertips and draw four interlinking circles. She then showed us how to tell from the circles which was our true, dominant hand.

After 30+ years as a lefty, I was shocked to find out it was my RIGHT hand. Holy cowbell! Don’t you hate it when your parents are spot on about something you rolled your eyes over?

Just to give you a quick summary of handedness, there are four main types:

  • Right-handedness is most common. A variety of studies suggest that 70–90% of the world population is right-handed, rather than any other form of handedness.
  • Left-handedness is present in about 10% of the world population.
  • Mixed-handedness, also known as cross-dominance, is being able to do different tasks better with different hands. For example, a mixed-handed person might write better with their left hand, but throw a ball more efficiently with their right. (Yep, that’s me.)
  • Ambidexterity is exceptionally rare, although it can be learned. A truly ambidextrous person is able to do any task equally well with either hand. Those who learn it still tend to sway towards their originally dominant hand.

I am mixed-handed, a fact that was borne out in this handedness questionaire (I scored -10) and I always figured it was because I had both left and right-handed parents.

A summary of my handedness:

  • I write, eat and stir a bowl with my left hand and do everything else either dominant right or mixed.
  • I can write and eat right-handed, I’m just slower and less coordinated at it.
  • I cannot stir a bowl or whip up eggs/batter/whatever with my right hand. I’ve tried.
  • I can write and read upside down. (I can’t write cursive upside down, only print.)
  • I can only stand to wear a watch on my left arm.

Some groovy random lefty history can be found here.

Enough about me, what about you? I’m dying to know the handedness of More Cowbell’s readers.

Are you happy with your handedness? Did you switch your handedness for any reason? Know any cool trivia facts on the subject? Also, if your handwriting has been analyzed, what does it say about you? Enquiring minds always want to know these things here at More Cowbell!

Jenny

Quick Note: To avoid smeared ink all over your hand, if my paper-tilt method doesn’t work, try out these SmudgeGuard Tablet gloves.

Note #2: To all my longtime readers: YES, you’ve seen parts of this post before. I brought it back because I got in a huge discussion about handedness this week. We’re going to add the new votes to the poll. :-)

Posted in Thoughty Thursday | Tagged , , , , | 54 Comments