More Later…

…leaving Las Vegas…more later.

Cruel Mistress

Jack had piloted the course a thousand times before.

This time, it was different; he was well aware the sea could be a cruel mistress.

The rocks along the shore taunted him as the sea beat the craft into submission.

Fighting hard, he spun the helm hoping to right the vessel.

Hanging on, refusing to give UP, he knew he was losing the battle; no hope.


All was black, all was lost; the light, the fight, the craft.



Each week, the lovely and talented Ivy Walker hosts a link-up challenging writers to spin a tale in six sentences – no more, no less. Click on the link right here to find out more and link your own post. While you’re there, click on the blue frog button to find more stories from some wonderful storytellers.

This week’s prompt was craft.

Well, Happy Happy!

Today is National Computer Security Day.

I know this because I saw it on wiki-leaks.


I rang UP my good friends Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Julian Assange, and they told me I should do the following to make my computer more secure.

  • Update my Windows
  • Install Antivirus software.
  • Make sure my Windows Firewall is turned on.
  • Be sure the software on your computer is UP to date?
  • Strong passwords, please, none of this wimpy stuff.
  • Keep your passwords a secret.
  • Lie about your dog’s name.
  • Require a password to access your computer.
  • Clean out any unused programs.
  • Make sure the neighbors can’t steal your wi-fi.
  • Back that thing UP.
  • Use caution when browsing the Internet.
  • Log off the computer when not using it.
  • Don’t let your web browser store your passwords.
  • Temporary Internet files, remove them periodically.

Stay safe out there!


You never know who’s watching.

mac ‘n cheese for the mind…

I remember getting our first television.

I don’t remember the date, the time, or the day, but I do remember the event.

I was young, very young.

I remember sitting in the darkened dining room – which is where we all hung out as not only did it have a table and chairs, there was a couch and Daddy’s big chair, and most importantly, the heating stove for the entire place.

It was a big old Virginia house in the country, efficient – no, happy and comfortable – yes.

But, I digress.

The TV arrived, I was charmed by it.

The earliest show I remember is The Ding Dong School.

Now, it started in November of 1952 – I’d have been five months old; it’s not realistic that I’d remember an event from that time, but the show ended its run in 1956 when I was four and a half – and I do remember running to the dining room to watch Miss Frances as soon as I heard her school bell.

That’s right, she rang a bell at the beginning of each show.


Billed as the nursery school of the air, The Ding Dong School was a ½ hour children’s TV show that began in Chicago and was picked UP by NBC.

Presented from a child’s point of view, it used low angled cameras so kids could see everything at “Lilliputian” eye level, and Miss Frances paced the stories and activities at a rate perfect for small ears and hands.

In other words, she was a genius and a pioneer.

Hosted live by Miss Frances Horwich, The Ding Dong School preceded Sesame Street and Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, and was the most popular TV series aimed at preschoolers.

It was pretty effective, because I was hooked.

A huge fan.

Really, a devotee.

Frances Rappaport Horwich was born in 1907 in Ottawa, Ohio, earned a master’s degree in education from Columbia and a doctorate from Northwestern.  She ran the department of education at Roosevelt College, and eventually supervised the entire NBC children’s programming department.

She also won a Peabody Award.

In December of 1956, The Ding Dong School was canceled to make way for The Price Is Right.

Seriously, not kidding.

About that time, Horwich resigned from NBC in protest of the commercialism of children’s education.  She refused to advertise products a child couldn’t use or products that glorified violence.

Oh that she were here today!

Miss Frances retired, moved to Arizona with her husband and lived to the ripe old age of 94.

The Ding Dong School is one of those warm “mac ‘n cheese” memories; it’s comfort food for the mind.

Truly a woman of influence, Horwich changed TV forever; her style gave rise to a TV technique still in use today; speaking to the viewing audience just as though they were in the same room with the performer.

Every time Colbert looks at you, thank Miss Frances.

And, just in case you need a reminder…