Harvest Trilogy

Monday, November 25, 2013

Holy crap, Family Guy killed a character! Those bas***ds!

From the episode 'Life of Brian' - 17world.com

Family Guy has always been a show meant to shock, but it has traditionally been with either wit or verbal diarrhea depending on the mood that day of the show's creative writing team and originator, Seth MacFarlane.  Last night (November 24th), those writers killed off main character (SPOILER ALERT), Brian Griffin.  Right now you're probably screeming "NOOOOOOOOO!  You lie!  You are a mean, nasty liar and I don't believe you!"

It's true.

Brian Griffin, the Griffin family pet who is intelligent, funny, writes novels, drinks adult beverages (and speaks)--is the bosom pal of Stewie, the voice of conscience for Peter, holds eternally unrequited love for Lois, ...died.  You'll have to watch the episode to see how it all came about.  (Family Guy on Fox episodes)

What will the show do now?  Policy Mic writer Matthew Rozsa (article shared on Facebook) states in his article that although tragic, tearful, and well-written in a far more serious vein than what fans are used to, the death of Brian is a good thing as it will lift the show out of its rut and allow it to take on a new direction.  Plus, he says the episode will forever mark the "Brian" era in a way that will immortalize it into cult status.  Bringing the beloved talking dog back would only cheapen the moment -- would only trivialize the tears spilled by die-hard Family Guy fans.

A cartoon making people cry?

Hey!  You've watched Bambi, right?  You cried when Bambi's mother died, didn't you?  And what about when Dumbo was separated from his mother?  And don't get me started on Watership Down!

Still, a character we've all grown to love is now forever gone except for those episodes in syndication.  Brian Griffin lived a good life.  He was one of the lucky ones to belong to a family who accepted him for who and what he was...a smartass alcoholic dog who was loyal to the very end. 

RIP, Brian Griffin.  We promise not to mispronounce "Wheat Thins". 


M. Gwynn is a freelance journalist, author, editor, and blogger.  She is a contributing writer for Sssh.com, Yahoo Voices, FashionErotica Magazine, AlwayzTherro.com, and Examiner.com as the San Antonio Sex & Relationships advisor.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Crickets "singing" will blow your mind



When I think of crickets, I think of August in Texas where they show up in droves for about 2-3 weeks hopping all over everything and generally scaring the bejesus out of me when I walk to my car.  I even think about Disney's Jiminy Cricket, but one thing that never occurred to me is that they make the most beautiful music. (Shared on endpundit)

Chirping?  Really?  I can hear you all asking the question now, but just wait until your ears get a load of this amazing audio created by composer Jim Wilson.  He recorded crickets "chirping", and then slowed the audio down to the length of the average lifespan of a human (compared to the two weeks in which crickets live).  The result was astounding.  That "chirp" we're all used to hearing and generally disregard is actually the most beautiful sound in the world.

Check out the heavenly choir of angels created by two little black legs rubbing together. (the sound of crickets at normal speed is paired with another track slowed down to catch all the gorgeous nuances)  You're welcome!


M. Gwynn is a freelance journalist, author, editor, and blogger.  She is a contributing writer for Sssh.com, Yahoo Voices, FashionErotica Magazine, AlwayzTherro.com, and Examiner.com as the San Antonio Sex & Relationships advisor.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Are tiny homes the wave of the future?

Boneyard Studios
Treehugger.com
We could all live with a little less.  We don't need or often even use half the stuff we have yet we continue to buy homes or rent apartments that are bigger than what we need, and we fill them with...more stuff.  Comedian George Carlin had a great bit about more "stuff" that is relevant to the conversation, and he was right.  We don't need it.

Large homes are usually just bragging rights that scream "look what I can afford!"  Well, most people can't afford them and space is getting to be difficult to come by.  So what can people do to revitalize run-down spaces that have fallen into disuse and ruin? 

One group in Washington, D.C. has set the example.  A group of tiny home owners got together in 2012 and created Boneyard Studios, a tiny housing hub built onto an old vacant lot.  What they've created is a community of little houses where people live with less, and live well.  It's pretty cool!  Some of the homes have solar paneling, and all are built in a way to maximize function into small spaces.  (Micro-community of tiny homes flourishes on vacant rehabilitated lot - Treehugger.com on Facebook)

The idea seems economically sound.  Sharing a lot means sharing in property taxes - having them split amongst the number of tiny home owners fit onto that space.  The homes are cheap to build.  Paying for less in mortgage means income goes further.  Many of these homes can be outfitted to utilize green energy technology and that reduces utility costs over the long run.  Such projects also revitalize defunct neighborhoods that were once just garbage zones turning them into vital communities.  The taxes being paid for the lots goes into the city.  The city can then afford to invest in good programs that help the citizens.  Citizens benefit from the programs and go on to be productive employees or job creators.  Everyone wins. 

Why aren't more people doing this? 


M. Gwynn is a freelance journalist, author, editor, and blogger.  She is a contributing writer for Sssh.com, Yahoo Voices, FashionErotica Magazine, AlwayzTherro.com, and Examiner.com as the San Antonio Sex & Relationships advisor.

Friday, November 22, 2013

The power of music at Som Sabadell

What looks so random turns out to be smooth staging as a little girl offers a few coins to a street musician, and the glorious symphonic sounds of the season begin to fill the air and lift the hearts of those in the square.  This video was created to celebrate the 130th anniversary of the Banco de Sabadell in Catalonia, Spain.  Have a listen and let the power of music put a smile on your face.  (Shared by News4WOAI Facebook Page)




M. Gwynn is a freelance journalist, author, editor, and blogger.  She is a contributing writer for Sssh.com, Yahoo Voices, FashionErotica Magazine, AlwayzTherro.com, and Examiner.com as the San Antonio Sex & Relationships advisor.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Did you know you can get free online education?

Life is about learning, and there is nothing more exciting.  No matter what we do, we're learning from the day we enter into the world to the day we pass from it into...well, we'll find out when we get there, right?

Still, in between there's just so much we can and should learn, but education beyond K - 12 is expensive.  However, did you know you can get free online education?

There are a lot of college and university courses available online - FREE!

This wonderful little nugget of information rolled up on my Facebook newsfeed courtesy of "I F***ng Love Science!" Here's the lowdown.  They're called MOOCs (massive open online courses).  You won't get a degree from it (not one printed out from a university), but you can earn actual certifications, and if you take enough of them, you'd have pretty much the equivalent of a college degree.

According to iflscience.com, the most popular provider of MOOCs is Coursera and they have "17,000,000 enrollements from students representing 190 countries.  There are 240,000 students in their most popular class.  Coursera has more than 400 courses in more than 20 categories, created by 85 universities from 16 countries.  Their courses are available in 12 different languages."

See?  No excuses for ignorance when education is at the ready online.

I, myself, am currently brushing up on my German in Duolingo.  Here is a list of other sites offering free online college and university courses.

EdX - Created by Harvard and MIT in Cambridge, Mass.  You always wanted a Harvard education, yes?  Study law, history, science, engineering, and more.  

MIT - Yes, THE MIT has over 2,000 courses available online. 

Stanford University - Here, you can work at your own pace rather than in structured classes like Coursera and EdX. 

Duolingo - Want to learn a new language?  Here's your chance. 

Code Academy - Computer coding taught for FREE interactively online.  Learn how to write code for websites and programs.

Iversity - This German-based online university offers classes in both English and German.  Get an overseas education!

Open University - This is a British distance education online educational site offering college courses.

Future Learn - This one is an off-shoot of Open University with these classes that just began this November (2013). 

There are many more site that offer free online courses.  To check out the extensive list, visit MOOCs online.

Learning is fun, and it sets a great example for children.  The more you know, the more interesting you are, and the more you have to offer.  Do it or fun or earn a certification.  How awesome will it be to show your friends and family your certificate from MIT, Stanford, or Harvard?

M. Gwynn is a freelance journalist, author, editor, and blogger.  She is a contributing writer for Sssh.com, FashionErotica Magazine, AlwayzTherro.com, and Examiner.com as the San Antonio Sex & Relationships advisor.


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Convection home heating for pennies



Winter has arrived and people everywhere will be feeling the chill. With energy prices rising (my own electric company announced a rate hike just last week), safe, effective, and inexpensive ways to keep warm this season are welcomed.

Enter this little gem rolling through the ole Facebook feed.  How to easily heat your home using flower pots and tea lights. 

The method uses the technique of convection heating.  Use a tin bread loaf (most folks have one in their pantry and if not, are very cheap to purchase), a package of tea lights (these are so cheap), and two ceramic flower pots, one larger that the other.  Place four tea lights in the loaf pan and light them up.  Place the smaller ceramic (or terra cotta) pot on top of the pan.  Using one of the metal containers left over from a spent tea light, flatten it and place over the hole in the bottom of the small ceramic pot.  Now, place the larger ceramic pot over the smaller one and leave the hole in the bottom of that one open.  The heat gets trapped inside the smaller pot, heating the ceramic (must be ceramic and not plastic) which warms the air both inside the smaller pot and between the smaller and larger pot.  The heat is released out the top and it actually warms the room.

Tea lights burn for between 4-6 hours.  So for the very cheap price of a large package of tea lights,  a few ceramic flower pots, and couple of tin loaf pans, you can heat your home.

Caution:  Keep your makeshift heater out of the way of pets and children.  Do not place near curtains or anything flammable.


M. Gwynn is a freelance journalist, author, editor, and blogger.  She is a contributing writer for Sssh.com, FashionErotica Magazine, AlwayzTherro.com, and Examiner.com as the San Antonio Sex & Relationships advisor.


What giving back can accomplish: the Tangelo Park Project

Originally from the Facebook page of Ludwick Renoit

A friend shared this amazing image on my newsfeed.  My first thought reading it was "is this true?"  I ran a search on Mr. Harris Rosen, and indeed, it is absolutely true.

This is what Democrats preach, and strangely, what Republicans eschew as a "hand out".  Why, they will say, should we give OUR money away to someone who didn't earn it?  I think it's important to point out that no one made Mr. Rosen do anything.  Giving back to his adopted community was all his own idea.

After working his way up through hotel management, Harris Rosen rose to the executive levels of his job working for the Hilton Hotel chain, the Post Company, and Disney.  From there, he purchased his first hotel, a 256 room Quality Inn on International Drive in Orlando, Florida.  It was the first of what would eventually be seven hotels in the Rosen family of hotels.

Wanting to give back began with donating a 20-acre site of land to the University of Central Florida in 2002.  It would become the Rosen College of Hospitiality Management with the additional gift of $10 million to construct the college.  It is now a successful college with an annual enrollment of around 3,000 students.

But this was not the end of Mr. Rosen's generosity.  He wanted to do more so he "adopted" the Orlando community of Tangelo Park consisting of around 2,500 residents.  Tangelo Park was not a place you'd want to be caught after dark.  Crime was high, and kids were dropping out of school like flies.  With no beaurocratic set up of any kind, Harris Rosen identified the major problem within the community:  lack of hope.  He asked the community what it needed to succeed, and out of that inquiry came the need for childcare so young women could go to school without worrying how they would care for their children, and go to work so they could provide for their families.  The additional incentive offered by Mr. Rosen for teens to finish high school was scholarships to the college of their choice.  Education is something this man holds sacred as the key to success, and to get there, a little help is sometimes needed.

His efforts have helped cut crime in half according to The GoodNews Network, and student graduation rates are just shy of 100%.  When hope is offered, people respond.  And when people respond, communities thrive.  Those that graduate,go on to college and obtain jobs which helps infuse their community economy through homeowner taxes, spending within their communities at local businesses, becoming entrepreneurs and hiring others, and simply being examples of what can be achieved through hard work and a helping hand.

Mr. Rosen's philosophy is simple, "always do the right the thing." (TangeloParkProgram.com)

Not everyone has millions to spend on a community of people, but we all have it within ourselves to lend a helping hand.  Mentoring is one way in which to help inspire young students to study and develop goals.  Opening a home daycare (there are many state certification programs-check with your local city hall) and providing affordable child care for struggling moms not only helps those moms go back to school or be able to go to work, but it's also a great self-employment that allows stay-at-home moms to earn money.  Get involved in neighborhood watch programs or citizens on patrol (many communities have a two week police training program for this).  Get to know your neighbors.  The more people know one another, the more likely they'll be to look out for each other.  Simple.

Being rich is defined not only by numbers in a bank account, but by generosity of spirit.  In that respect, all people with compassion and drive to help others are billionairs. 

Way to go, Mr. Rosen!

M. Gwynn is a freelance journalist, author, editor, and blogger.  She is a contributing writer for Sssh.com, FashionErotica Magazine, AlwayzTherro.com, and Examiner.com as the San Antonio Sex & Relationships advisor.
 

Friday, November 8, 2013

A steaming pile of kitty love

Miss Sophie
My day started out on a bad note..or rather, a stinky note. Forgetting the weirdness that is my cat, Miss Sophie, I washed blankets last night. Seemed a good idea. Who doesn't like a warm, fresh, fluffy blanket to sleep on, right? The answer to that would be...Miss Sophie. She has something against warm, clean blankets..or at least, the one I put on top of my comforter. I was awakened by a most horrific smell.

Nose wrinkled, I opened my eyes and looked around. I cast a glance to my left to see which cat was sleeping next to me. It's usually Sophie, but now and again, I wake up with Sammy or Oscar. I'm a big cat ho. Don't judge.

But instead of Sophie, in her place was a steaming pile of cat poop! Not even hard, cat turds, but soft-serve. Gross! Right on the blanket. I was so mad. Had to get up, clean it up, rewash the blanket, and then keep a close eye on her to make sure she didn't do it again.




Mr. Sammy
It's a fairly new blanket so when I first washed it, she got up on the bed and pooped on it. The second time I washed it, she got mid-squat and I caught her in time before she pooped on it. Unfortunately, she still scatted on my floor. This time, she got me. She really got me. Took herself a major kitty dump right next to my sleeping face.




I don't know what she has against this blanket. She doesn't do this anywhere else. Maybe she feels she can only sleep with this blanket after she puts her "stink" on it. Whatever the case may be, the only reason I haven't throttled her or kicked her in her fuzzy ass is because she's old and sick. She's also cantankerous and there is a reason her nickname is, and always has been, ...Poops.


Pictured above is Miss Sophie curled up in her cat bed.  Maybe I should leave her a little "present" in her bed and see how she likes it?

Mr. Oscar


Disclaimer:  Before anyone has a heart attack, I would never, NEVER, hurt any of my cats.  They are my babies.  When I say I'd like to throttle Sophie and kick her cat butt, it's merely a figure of speech.  Harming any animal is the act of a coward and a bully.  As an animal advocate, I'm vehemently against violence against animals.  Just wanted to put everyone's mind at ease. 

Shared on my Facebook page and my Bubblews blog.

M. Gwynn is a freelance journalist, author, editor, and blogger.  She is a contributing writer for Sssh.com, FashionErotica Magazine, AlwayzTherro.com, and Examiner.com as the San Antonio Sex & Relationships advisor.


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Texas church offers salvation and BEER!

Image credit:  canvasworksneedlepoint.com
Over the past few decades, attendance in most churches has declined, but one pastor has found a way to bring 'em in; by offering parishioners beer!  (Read full story on Examiner.com here)

Pastor Philip Heinze of Church in a Pub says he isn't concerned with growing his congregation, but with growing their relationship with God.  Of course,  and what better way to do this than by imbibing over the Bible?  "Full-bodied beer of Christ?" 'Amen!'

It sounds like it makes services a lot more fun, doesn't it?  Where can we sign up?  After all, in ancient times, didn't the disciples all sit around with Jesus drinking home-brewed meade?  Not to be funny, but I'm pretty sure ancient beer was the koolaid of its day.

Still, drunken worship might explain a lot about the uptick in religious zeal pouring into mainstream politics these days.  Gotta love the redneck philosophy of calling folks to worship with a brewsky instead of church bells.  Maybe Colorado, Washington state, and Portland can mimic this model (with a substance tweak) and get people to rise early on Sundays and come on in and have a little toke with JC.

Spirituality and drug-induced hazes have gone hand-in-hand for centuries from the Chinese opium dens to Native American peyote pipes.  Well, why not?  People have found Jesus in tea leaves, grilled cheese sandwiches, and even potatoe chips, so why not beer hops?

(Original story shared on Web Writers Inc/Facebook)

M. Gwynn is a freelance journalist, author, editor, and blogger.  She is a contributing writer for Sssh.com, FashionErotica Magazine, AlwayzTherro.com, and Examiner.com as the San Antonio Sex & Relationships advisor.


Logic and the question of choosing to be gay

Too many people like to open their pie-holes and spout off about homosexuals "choosing" to be gay.  They'll say it's a conscious choice, one that can be reversed if they just TRY hard enough; perhaps subject themselves to some unproven and psychologically devastating gay aversion therapy.  But one man bravely went out onto the streets and asked straight people the same offensive question gay people have been asked for years, and in just seconds, logic ruled the day.

Shared on Upworthy.com - video from Travis Nuckolls



M. Gwynn is a freelance journalist, author, editor, and blogger.  She is a contributing writer for Sssh.com, FashionErotica Magazine, AlwayzTherro.com, and Examiner.com as the San Antonio Sex & Relationships advisor. 

"Hooters" coach fired for making bad call



Image credit: hotsauceandsalsa.com
A Portland, Oregon football coach was fired after he refused to change plans to take his team to a local area Hooters to celebrate the end of the season.  Why is taking a team of athletes to Hooters such a problem?  Well, the team in question are only in junior high school.

Hmmn...what could be wrong about taking pre-pubescent boys to a restaurant/bar with skimpily-clad waitresses?  They can't even walk up to the chalkboard in class to work out a math problem without holding the textbook in front of their zippers.  Just imagine what mayhem seeing this would cause hormonal teen boys.

Image credit:  largestmixer.com

It seems that coach Randy Burbach didn't see this as a problem despite complaints by parents to the athletic director, Jean-Paul Soulagnet as reported in the Merced Sun Star/Associated Press (Don't be a Rand Paul!  Always attribute sources).

No, sir.  Against the wishes of some of the parents, and the better judgement of his boss, Burbach refused to correct course and continued full steam ahead with his plan to take the awkward and pimply to Hooters anyway.  And just like that, he was fired.

Is Burbach already smoking recreational marijuana ahead of its legalization just today?  One wonders what could possibly be clouding his senses when a grown man doesn't see why it is inappropriate to insist of taking other people's children into an establishment clearly designed for adult males against the desires of said parents and his supervisor.  This was a bad call, coach.  A really bad call.

The AP reported that Burbach was trying to teach his team "stand up for what they believe in".  Well, maybe he should have tried teaching them even adults make dumb decisions, and that they should listen to their parents; not the misguided coach hooked on Hooters.

Now, for the over-eighteen crowd, I recommend the Cuban, and the chocolate mousse pie.  


M. Gwynn is a freelance journalist, author, editor, and blogger.  She is a contributing writer for Sssh.com, FashionErotica Magazine, AlwayzTherro.com, and Examiner.com as the San Antonio Sex & Relationships advisor.  

Catpocalypse begins

Fox News November 5th, 2013:  With the Democratic upsets in Virginia and New York City on election day, 2013, came the fulfillment of the Tea Party prophesy; the zombie apocalypse!  Only it didn't quite happen as they predicted.

Instead of minorities and pregnant women rising up from the dead and bringing the wrath of the one true God down upon all our heads in a reign of fiery votes (whch happened), feral cats everywhere have risen up on their back paws in a mindless pursuit of.....TUNA!

As stated in Revelations 1.14  His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow so we called him Snowball; and his eyes were like Puss in Boots;
And his paws like unto fine kitty toes with sharp claws, as if they dug deeply into Scoop Away; and his voice as the sound of many female felines in heat on a hot summer night.
And he had in his chops a tuna: and out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged fileted bone: and his countenance was as contented with himself...and he began to lick his paws and clean his face....until the feral zombie zeal fell upon him once again.
And when I saw him, I knew I would call him George and I would hug him, and squeeze him, and he would be mine.




Run!  Run and hide, and lock up your tuna!
Image Credit: Project Bay Cats on Facebook

M. Gwynn is a freelance journalist, author, editor, and blogger.  She is a contributing writer for Sssh.com, FashionErotica Magazine, AlwayzTherro.com, and Examiner.com as the San Antonio Sex & Relationships advisor.   

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Breadless turkey subs for healthy eaters!

Now here's a pretty darn cool idea!  Slice a cucumber down the center and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds (save and throw them into your garden in the spring).  Rinse and then fill the center with turkey, green onions (or red onions if you prefer), and laughing cow cheese.  Stack and snack.  Low calorie, delicious, and refreshing.  (From Coach Angelia 90 Day Fitness Challenge on Facebook)

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Where's the outrage over men's sexual healthcare coverage?

Image credit: edtreatmenttoday.com

Over the past three years, there have been waves of outrage from the religious right over female contraceptives and their coverage as "preventative medicine" in the new Affordable Healthcare Act.  The Republican/Tea Party has done everything they can by way of oppressive legislation that is completely unconstitutional to suppress women's reproductive rights and access to safe abortion services and/or birth control.  The movement has been like some horror story out of the Dark Ages.

But where is the outrage over coverage under the same law for men's sexual healthcare?  Did you even know that the ACA known far and wide as Obamacare covers men's continued sexual health?  Were you aware that men have coverage, too, that keeps them "propped" up and ready to rock out with their 'penile implants' out?  I bet you had no idea.

Well, here's the low-down on the hypocrisy that suppresses women's rights to do with their own bodies as they see fit.  Here's the cray-cray (that's slang for crazy) that says women are "sluts", "moochers", "freeloaders", "hussies", and "A-moral women" for seeking to be responsible via birth control even while religious zealots masquerading as politicians tell them they must NOT have sexual relations....all while encouraging men to continue to have those same sexual relations even when age and illness tell them otherwise.  Unless these men are getting down and dirty with each other, we see some major problems with what is going on.  Women are being punished while men are being rewarded; for the same thing!

What does the ACA cover for men?

Erectile dysfunction drugs
Vacuum erection devices (penis pumps)
Penile implants
Vasectomies 
Circumcision (because now and again, they need a little "shave" and a haircut)
(Read entire article- 5 Sexual Health Services Insurance Will Cover on Raw Story)

If men can't get it up, insurance will help "prop" it up.  Most don't have a problem with this, but when such is countered by massive oppression of women's rights to reproductive healthcare, there's a problem, and it's called misogyny, inequality, and just plain unqualified ridiculousness.

So again, where's the outrage from the right?  Where are the picket signs saying "If God wanted your penis to rise like Lazarus from the dead, he'd send in his son to raise it!"?  OR "Penis Pumps are the Devil's Lips!"
How about "Your impotence is HIS way of saying "Stop sucking the government teet!"

I know, just silly, right?  But those silly words are great examples of the asinine crusade against women's rights when it comes to reproductive health (minus the usual misspellings noted on said signs created by Tea Party members).  So, where's the outrage?

Ladies, it's time for a counter-protest.  Feel free to borrow my slogans.

M. Gwynn is a freelance journalist, author, editor, and blogger.  She is a contributing writer for Sssh.com, FashionErotica Magazine, AlwayzTherro.com, and Examiner.com as the San Antonio Sex & Relationships advisor. 

Back from the brink with a phallic-shaped church

Has it really been since August that I last posted something completely arbitrary?  My apologies.  Must admit, it has been quite a busy time for me between family, work (editing a new supernatural romance novel for author Jami McDonald, and interviewing some models, British burlesque queens, and more), and well, just stuff.  So without further ado, I bring you, once again, goodies that will cause you to chuckle briefly, think a moment, or do the Captain Picard "face-palm".  Namaste!

Phallic-shaped Christian Science Church
The Daily Kos reported on this phallic-shaped building to make quite a hilarious point -- it's a church! After having the aerial shot pointed out to it, the church decided they didn't like being a big "D" for all the world to see and will find a way to cover itself with a "fig leaf" soon.  Hey, they were just trying to save that oak tree seen in the pic by building aorund it.  Nice gesture, but saving the tree gave them "satellite wood". 

M. Gwynn is a freelance journalist, author, editor, and blogger.  She is a contributing writer for Sssh.com, FashionErotica Magazine, AlwayzTherro.com, and Examiner.com as the San Antonio Sex & Relationships advisor.