Tag Archives: Shopping

My Name is Tatyana; Can I be Your Girlfriend? 2

Today we are continuing our series on our talented scammers, Tatyana.   These
letters are intended to seduce; then comes a request for money. Where these
money requests are made, I will include some of my conversation to show how I
deflected this attempt at fraud.

Tatyana appears to be a young girl, despite the fact that  she claims to be 29 years old. I believe that this is a common practice by  these types of scammers, to more reliably entice intended victims; it is slimy and very regrettable.

This Part Two of our series on her (and the scammers that  are using her image and name). As has been my practice, I am not correcting  spelling syntax or layout of these notes from her, so that you might recognize  a similar letter in your incoming email!  You can find Part One of Tatyana here.

I’d appreciate it if you would carefully review our Copyright Notice at the end of this post. You may not: Use, Borrow, Extract, Copy, or in any way, perform any action that could limit the writer’s future rights to: Leverage, Sell, Publish, Distribute or Infringe any commercial consideration that damages the author or his rights in any way. Lastly, please remember that I have done no editorial ‘clean-up’, allowing our readers to see exactly what they might see in their inbox!

Hello again my friend Cliff! I am very pleased to again receive your letter. Thank you very much for what you told me a little about you! I am very glad to know you. I am interested to talk with you! You know, I’m very worried. After all,
this is my first communication on the Internet. Today, I have mad a great mood,
as you wrote me. I’m very happy that now, we begin to learn new things about
each other.

How are you? How is the weather in your city? I think that all is well. Now in Russia it gets cold. Temperature of the day, only +12, +14 degrees. In this letter, as I told you and promised to tell a little about yourself and about the relationship that I seek.

I was very pleased to receive your pictures, you’re very handsome man.

I hope that you in the future will be sending me a lot of his paintings, because they will cause me a lot of emotion.

As I told you, I live alone and I do not have parents. After University, I rented an apartment, because I could not afford to buy his apartment. After the death of parents, I had only a small house in a remote village, and then I could not get his inheritance, he lacks a lot of documents.

I sued and the trial lasted about 10 years, and only after my persistence I was
able to assert their rights. About a year ago, the trial ended. Then I sold the
house for a very small amount and decided to buy a flat. I was able to buy a communal apartment, but she is very comfortable and I’m happy that I have my own angle.  I have one room in 20 squares, and also I have a common shower and toilet with their neighbors. Of course, this is not very good conditions, but I’m glad that I have my own accommodation. Especially since I did so myself. Also, thanks to the state program, I obtained a loan for 5 years for buying a house, as money from the sale of the parent’s home was not enough. The only disadvantage that every month I pay money for my apartment in order to repay the loan. My friend, though I and a small room, but it is very comfortable and there is always pure.

Also I would like to tell you about my daily routine. On weekdays I get up at 5 am, because my work is not close to my house. Then I have breakfast. Usually for breakfast I eat sandwiches and tea. I clean teeth, wash my face and go to work. Usually at work I get to the bus.

It takes approximately 30-40 minutes. My working day begins at 8 pm and lasts until 18 o’clock in the evening, after which I go back home.

You know, all my friends tell me that I am cheerful girl. I really am an active lifestyle. I like meeting new people and learn. I love the cheerful company. Now, unfortunately, I do not have much time to communicate with friends, because I have a lot of work. Also, most of my friends now live in other cities. I am very calm, romantic and intelligent girl. At heart, I am a sensual and tender. In his free time, I like hanging out with friends in a city park. In his free time, I swim. Also I go to the gym. In the winter I like skiing, skating. In the summer, with friends, we go to hike, bicycle.

Sometimes we go away from the city, hundreds of kilometers.  I always wanted to try water ski, but I never did. This is my big dream. You love to travel? You like to play sports? In the summer, I just like to ride a bicycle, do aerobics, swim and bask in the sun. In winter, I love skiing and skating. I always dreamed of skiing. But, unfortunately,  I’m never succeeded. I have never traveled outside of my country.

I very much like to greet the dawn and sunset to accompany. I love nature. I also like to walk along the river bank, to feel his feet the water. Cliff, you love nature? Also I like listening to music. In general, I prefer classical. I also listen to chill out and pop music.

At  home, I have a lot of tapes, classical and popular music of Russia, my favorite
singer Dima Bilan. What music do you listen to? I like to read books. During  his life, I read many books on psychology, human behavior. Also I like novels and  Detectives. Also I like fantasy books. The last book I read – it is “Perfume”. She left me an excellent impression. What was the last book you read? I think that while reading an interesting book, immersed in it. Through all the events, along with the characters.

I have heard many good things about your country. I’m trying to follow all developments in the world. Now, unfortunately, I can not watch TV very often, because I have a lot of work. All my friends tell me that I am an active girl who is unstoppable. I like to communicate, to know new people. But in my life is not completely happy because I do not have enough love and affection. I always like to see next to me was a man who can truly love me.

I am looking for my love. You’re looking for love as well, Cliff? I think that we are largely similar. In relations I am looking for trust, understanding, and of course love. I want a man with whom I have always understood me, never hurt and love. I only want a serious relationship, I do not want any games. I think that you are looking for a serious relationship as Cliff? Please tell me more about you!

What do you mean by relationships? What hobbies do you have in life Cliff? On this I must finish my letter to you, because my time has come to an end, and I must go home.

I look forward to wait for your new letter for me Cliff. I am very interested to talk with you and recognize you Cliff! Your friend from Russia, Tatyana.

 And on Saturday…

Hello my dear friend Cliff!!!!

Today in Russia some day. The sun’s shining. I came to the Internet cafe and saw your new message. I was very pleased that you wrote to me again. Thank you very much for what he told me more about yourself!  How are you today is the day? How are things Cliff? I hope that you all well!

Today I would like to tell you about my past relationship with a man and why I
am looking for my love on the Internet! When I was 26 years old. I met a man by
the name of Yura. He was then 32 years old. We met with him in the movie, when we went there with friends. He sat next to us and the whole film, he looked at me. After the movie, he came up to me and met. At first glance, I liked him.
Yura asked my phone number. But I do not have your own phone, so I was not able to give him room. After that we had started dating. I liked him more. He always looked after me, he gave me flowers. I really loved it! I thought that this is
the person I’m looking for. I thought that was the man with whom I want to
spend my whole life! But once, we agreed to meet in the library. I wanted to
take the book. But Yura did not come to the meeting. I waited for him about 3
hours, but it was not. Then I went home. But the next day, my friend told me
that she saw Yura with another girl. She told me that they kissed. I very
strongly cried, I nearly killed myself. My friend stopped me. I was very hurt
and sad at heart. After all, he told me he loves me and wants me to be his

He deceived me. He just used me. He had another woman. All these years I have not been communicating with men. I told myself that I’ll never love. But my girlfriend was able to persuade me that I tried to find love on the Internet. I was very disappointed in the Russian men. All men in Russia are using their women. They do not want a serious relationship. All they need is sex and they offended over women.

Russian men, women need only to slavery. So I decided to try to find love abroad! Now I do not regret the advice of a friend. I am very pleased that we met. I like to communicate with you Cliff!

Please tell me your story. Why are you lonely ? You just broke up with his love
Cliff? We’re very similar, since we both are looking for true love! Now I must
finish my letter. I look forward to wait for your new letter. By this letter, I
fasten photo. Your best friend from Russia, Tatyana.

On Tuesday I learn that I am Very ‘Cool’…

Hello my dear Cliff!!!! I am very glad to receive your new letter. I am very interested to talk with you and each of your letter I read very carefully! When I see a letter from you, on my face always a smile. Thank you for this great Cliff!!!!
Thank you for your wonderful photos! You’re very beautiful! I’m very happy to
know you more and develop our relations.

Today I would like to tell you more about my work and about how I like to spend
my weekend.

As you already know, I work as a psychologist in a children’s home, where I lived my whole life. Our orphanage is not very big, so he can not put a lot of children. It is home to 60 children. They have no parents. Some of them with mental health issues. They are experiencing due to the fact that they have no parents, and I understand it, because I, too, an orphan. We have very friendly staff. It consists of 25 people. Basically in our orphanage run elderly. But I respect them all, because some of them brought me. My duties at work is to provide psychological assistance to kids, find out the cause of their illness, helping them find a way out of a bad situation, give them advice. Last week in our children’s home, a new girl named Natasha. Her parents are very much drank vodka. They were alcoholics. Therefore, parents Natasha deprived of parental rights. I was terribly sorry for her.

Now, Natasha no one talks and eats almost nothing. I think that everything will be fine when I’m with her I can talk. At the weekend from work while I’m trying to hold the most good. Sometimes I go to the park with my girlfriend Katya. She is very funny woman. I know her since childhood. We grew up together in an orphanage. Sometimes I go to Katya to visit, and we spend good time together. On weekends I like to go to the movies. But this is not always possible, because the work takes a very long time. Usually I just read a book or listening to music. So I am doing cleaning house and preparing to eat.

Please tell me how you love to hold your weekend? You have a lot of friends?

I am very pleased to learn more about you, you’re a very good man and I am
pleased that we were able to meet with you. Cliff. We are with you in many ways
similar. You are very cool Cliff!!! I very much would like to see some more of
your pictures! Please send them to me! I look forward to wait for your letter
to me Cliff Gently kiss on the cheek. Your best friend, Tatyana.


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Information Delivery: Times Marches On

There has been a lot of discussion about the future of books. 

Views from Sandhausen Website - First Draft

As we look back at the Record, Movie, and Entertainment systems evolution, we see a shift of media; content reigns and delivery system evolves.  Since the same things are happening to all of these information delivery systems, it tells us that it is not about these ‘Information Niches’; it is more about how we are evolving as a species.

As an abject Lover of books, it has been of concern to me personally. As I strive to move forward in my writing and publishing efforts, I feel like I felt in my 30’s when White Water Rafting meant so much to me.  The analogy is not only solid, it is absolutely fundamental to what we are experiencing.  We avoid the rocks (new ideas), are sucked into whirlpools (when we bet on an innovation that proves to be a dry well), and are relentlessly pushed by the overpowering force that we feel (Time) to our greater glory – or total destruction.

As said by Julius Wiedemann in his recent (excellent analysis) post The Book Is Dead. Long Live The Publishing Industry! , “We are moving toward an ever-growing differentiation between the book as object versus content delivery system. As this occurs, we cannot ignore the fact that our lives are shifting dramatically toward a digitalized experience. This shift is happening not just for the sake of technology; it is happening because we–as in, society–are changing, as is our behavior.”

My lifelong desire was to write and publish a book.  I love to write so it was just a matter of time.   I published Lynn’s Story in a hardback version only.  It went to close family and friends who intimately loved and shared joys with Lynn and me.  I am publishing Views from Sandhausen in all formats less audio.


The paperback proof copy of Views from Sandhausen was just delivered!  It is Brilliant!!!  I may sleep with it tonight.  WOW!!!

 As pointed out in Mr. Wiedmann’s post, I expect that people will still buy a physical copy of the book, if they liked the eBook that they have read.  If this comes to pass, it is VITAL that eBooks have the same pagination as does the hard or soft cover edition.  The current practice of paginating eBook’s as ‘screens’ will make it slightly more difficult to read the eBook on your commute, the PC version in the office (whoops, did I say that?), and the hard/soft cover version whilst trying to fall asleep.  Not impossible mind you, just more difficult.

I intend to leverage that trend by offering book bundles Hard + eBook, or Soft + eBook, on my personal sell site, ViewsfromSandhausen.com.  OF course, pricing breaks will be offered.

Other happenings: (things are moving very fast) over the last two days, include my sending the first round of comments back to Smart Author Sites on the look and feel of the site that they are currently designing. Today’s photo will give you a quick look at the first draft of the site Home Page.  Please feel free to comment on what you see!  (You always are welcome to leave me comments: it makes both you and I better!)

The Twitter following continues to grow; I am weeding out the ‘chaff’ and adding people who are ‘movers and shakers’ in this business.  If I’ve learned something from you (and I know that you don’t care) – I’m following You!  Lastly, I’m continuing to work with PhotoFunia and their very clever software that produces images like this:

What a great tool for subtle advertising!!

Views from Sandhausen Advertising

Now take a further few moments and read Julius Wiedmann’s insightful post The Book Is Dead. Long Live The Publishing Industry!

Cultural Suicide: Musings from a Mind with too Little to Do

Due to my current circumstances, I have a lot of solitary time to think; just let my mind wander.  In my past life, I have always been busy – too busy!  I started work outside the home at 14; until I retired, I was never out of work for even an hour.  I was given very significant freedom and responsibilities beginning around 10.  If my parents did what they did (wide-ranging permission) when I was growing up, today, there would be a cell with their name on it.  As the benefactor of that freedom, my life has been richer than a more restrictive one would have been. 

Designed by Committee - The Yugo

My thoughts at that time were advanced from my chronological age.  As an only child, during the age of no TV to entertain us, I had to entertain myself; I did so by letting my mind wander, much like the environment surrounding A.A. Milne’s “House at Poo Corners”.  I would go to ‘My Woods’ for 12 hours straight; unattended, and free to experience nature in its purest form.  I LOVED it! 

It is said that a wandering mind is the devil’s playground; I don’t subscribe to that concept.  An empty mind, if nurtured and fertilized properly by: learning, environment, inspiration, and TIME – is a very productive human petri dish. 

So, now I am back to “The Days of Poo”.  Lynn and I always watched the clouds in the sky, visualizing what we could visualize.  I still do so, but I’m not just looking for shapes; I am looking for Lynn.  And I write; I write what I am thinking and I write what I’ve experienced.  Some of what I write about is about “The Human Condition”, merged with current events, and I don’t really like all that I see.  One of those thoughts is about Armageddon, not in the religious or biblical sense – in rational (what could happen to Society if there is one too many nuts, or if a really big asteroid has our name on it) manner.

The End of the World?

Are we prepared for such an eventually – No!  We were better prepared in the 1950’s, only because Armageddon had a face – the old Soviet Union.  We could touch that, we knew what it meant, and we knew that one day our sunrise might not be the sunrise that we usually experienced every morning.  Today, I suppose Armageddon’s face is something from Asia, It could be red, it could be sandy, it could be a number of things, and that’s the problem!  If it doesn’t have a definable face, it is out of our collective minds.  Well, get a clue, our greater society.  We should be thinking about survivability; what steps can we take TODAY, to make our society less vulnerable to threats, whatever form they might take. 

What is a society?  I believe that it is the collective works of mankind, and how that knowledge binds people together – and tears them apart.  What is knowledge?  It is the collective thoughts from the beginning of the human being’s life on Earth, what is remembered and what is recorded.  Unfortunately, there are significant gaps in that Knowledge Timeline.  Books were burned, much has been lost to natural disasters, and when the Storytellers told their stories, nobody wrote down what they said!

We are faced with a looming disaster of the first order; a disaster for our children, and the children of their children.  It is irretrievable and it is happening as you read this humble post.  It is the irrational dependence on Digital Media storage.  A very thoughtful guy, who happens to be my book designer, Walt Shiel, Managing Partner of Five Rainbow Services, wrote a thoughtful post to his personal blog back in 2009.  We share some history.  I too, bought and built my first computer in 1978.  I began working with them at work in 1968.  I have soldered resistors into bakelite boards.  I too used cards and paper tape.  My first programming was done through the 16 switches on the front of a Sperry minicomputer that drove the Computer-Aided Drafting system for which I was responsible.

Technology has been my life, and it has been a very good life.  So, when Walt talks about our growing vulnerabilities I complete agree with his premise. 

Everything, I mean Everything is dependent on “One’s” and “Zero’s” in our digital servants.  And, Our Everything has the potential to disappear in a flash of an ElectroMagnetic Pulse (EMP).  That means that everything that has been put into digital format has the potential to disappear, irretrievably. Of course, when it went into the computer, the originals were destroyed! You may argue that we have CD drives, but they don’t help us at all if all the transistors and all the storage devices in the world are instantly destroyed, not to mention all of their manufacturing infrastructure – and the knowledge to rebuild them!

For a little perspective, I urge you to read his post, Digital-Only Books Are Cultural Suicide.  He makes some pretty good points about Creativity as well.  I would argue that Creativity is best nurtured by a single creator, and then brought to fruition by collaboration.  The graphic at the top of this post is the result of ‘Creation by Committee’!  Me, I’m heading back to My 30-acre woods.

 Photo Credits:



Back in the Saddle

Lynn in our pool

Monday marked the six month anniversary of my wife Lynn’s passing and it hurt!  It also put me in a non-creative, very sad state of mind.  I knew that staying in the house studying and reading was not helping me, so I ventured outside my home, and went to a mall.  Now, in this sleepy part of Florida (other than South Beach is there a non-sleepy part?) finding entertainment and shopping opportunities involve travel.  I’m relatively new to this area, and am usually alone, so I don’t really know my way around.  Garmin navigation system to the rescue! 

Between my Garmin 670, my iPhone, and MapQuest I can usually make my way out of a dark room.  I punched Shopping and Mall into the machine and out came two possibilities, one 14 miles north; the other 21 miles south.  Being a person that is respectful of our environment, I opted to go north.  Well, Crystal River Mall, I learned later is called a (s)mall, by the locals.  It has three anchor stores, and a loose assembly of smaller stores, organized as a triangle – all enclosed under a tent, for God’s sake!  One wonders who came up with the tent concept for a location that is absolutely flat, and 4 miles from the Gulf of Mexico!

There is a point to all of this, I promise.  When one of your anchor stores is a Kmart, you are a long way from civilization!  Wandering around the (s)mall I had to purchase a birthday gift and I was immersed in one of my favorite pastimes – people watching.  Penney’s was the best of the alternatives and in I go.  I headed to the Men’s Department and found a decent, but small assortment of goods.  It pays to shop in October.  The Christmas goodies are in the stores and the complete selection of sizes and colors are there. 

Gift purchased, I wandered around and ran into the Christmas Shop.  It was like walking into a brick wall.  Christmas was Lynn’s favorite time of year and we made a point to hit (all) the Christmas displays in the various stores, every year.  She was like a little child during the season – for about three months.  Life with Lynn was always wonderful; at Christmas it was extraordinary!  Without her, I don’t know what I’m going to do?  All I know is that it crushed me for two days.

My design house, Five Rainbows, is located in the very northern part of Michigan.  It is extremely rural (I vacationed in that area as a child) and quite flat.  Google Earth tells me that their business is about a mile from Lake Superior“The Bomb” which is what the media is calling this recent storm, absolutely knocked them back into the 19th century – for a day and a half.  I sure hope they have great (computer) back-up strategies as all of the work that they are doing for me is digitally-based.

With the arrival of payday, I was able to make some additional investments in Views from Sandhausen.  I purchased the ISBN’s for the book and put the money away for the next payment to Five Rainbows.  That will be needed as soon as the cover design is finalized.  “ISBN” stands for “International Standard Book Number”.  For me, they are sold in blocks of ten.  I’ll need at least four for the various formats that will be offered (hard cover, soft cover, Kindle and ePub).  It is also a racket, in my opinion.

You will never believe, as I did not despite books being such a large part of my life, all my life, what this effort involves!   It has certainly altered my perspective and forever more, I will look at a rack of books differently.  An awful lot of people work very hard to deliver the Best Sellers to the rack in your store.  And with 1,000,000 titles published worldwide, per year, it is not an insignificant industry.

Happy reading, Cliff

Reorganize Views from Sandhausen

As most of you will remember, Views from Sandhausen is organized by date.  While this is logical for emails, it is bad for books.  Books need indexes.  In fact after potential readers look at the cover and the back of the book, their shoppers eye generally takes them to the book’s index.  Well a list of View numbers and dates is not the most compelling sales tool.  I have to reparse the book!  Rats!

That meant I had to print our all 236 pages (current length without photos), and reread the story (not that I mind) and try to group about every ten Views into 10-12 chapters.  Not just chapters, mind you, but Compelling chapters; chapters that capture the logical essence of those grouped Views.  I want chapter names that grab the potential purchaser by the shirt and say Buy Me!!  

Here is my current thinking on the books organization.  I would appreciate any feedback that you might want to offer:

 Views from Sandhausen

Table of Contents




Chapter One – Welcome to Europe!

Chapter Two –Oktoberfest Arrives!

Chapter Three – Do you like to Gamble?

Chapter Four – Let’s Install Windows in November

Chapter Five – Daily Life in Germany

Chapter Six – Spargel Season

Chapter Seven – Year Two Dawns

Chapter Eight – Lobsterfest in November

Chapter Nine – Father’s Day on the French Rivera

Chapter Ten – Bavaria Redux

Chapter Eleven – Tying up Loose Ends

About the Authors

 My designer, Five Rainbows, sent me three possible cover designs along with two sheets of potential cover fonts.  I believe that this is a preliminary drop to get a general idea of what style I prefer.  I do prefer one of those designs more than the other.  I sent back my opinion as to cover and font.  I’m deliberately not including my choice as I view it as a work in process.

 I continue to receive offers of assistance (mostly with a fee) for a number of ancillary activities that need to be done.  Some include: Search Engine Optimization, website design, linking strategies, etc.  Once you dig through the haze to distill out the nuggets, it is time to assess options, effort, and budget. 

 The beat goes on…


Anyone can be Published and E-book Technologies: Their Impact on Information Provision

 I know that I said that I was taking the weekend off, away from Views from Sandhausen.  I went to Zephyrhills (Yes Virginia, there IS such a place) to enjoy a beautiful day and spend time with a friend.  The day was charming and quite cathartic!

Credit: City of Zephyrhills

So, here is Sunday, my morning shows are on TV and my mind is restless.  When that occurs it is back to my window on the digital world, to look for something interesting. 

I ran across a wonderful post by Piotr Kowalczyk, posting from Poland.  There are two elements of interest in this link   http://tiny.cc/5fhwk   and I urge you to take the six minutes that it will take to view and learn.  You do need to learn something every day to ensure that you continue to grow and a person!

The first point of interest, and the least interesting, is the technology behind the piece.  It is done in a software application called Prezi.  This quantum leap beyond traditional MS PowerPoint is nothing less than stunning. Prezi was born in Budapest in 2007, because the creators felt that slides limited their ability to develop and explain ideas. Prezi was their response to solve these issues. Prezi officially launched in April 2009 from Budapest.

 It employs unique pan, and zoom technologies to view, and thought-centering concepts that focus the audience to the essential immediate concept, rather than have them not be focused on the key idea.  This occurs with PowerPoint as your eyes tend to look at all the information on a slide at once.  You do this naturally in PowerPoint because of attention boredom.  Prezis employs motion to keep your mind engaged and focused on the key thought.  It is a PowerPoint alternative and I wish I had it when I was making presentations for a living at Goodyear!

The more interesting concept was the content being presented by Piotr, that being how current and future technologies are enabling the man on the street to gather, document, publish and distribute their ideas worldwide.  Further, these technologies allow us to have these thoughts in a number of flexible containers, from personal blogs, through the three major formats of books, to audio books, and contained in a variety of presentation choices – both physical and electronic.  The new Kindle platform allows you to start reading a Kindle book on your PC, then to go portable and not only have it on those various platforms, but to open that same book on your Smartphone of tablet reading device – to the same page that you left off on your PC.  This is just stunning progress in the state of the science and has occurred in the last 730 DAYS! 

Imagine where we will be in Ten Years!

Now the publisher and literary agent’s dilemmas – they are DINOSAURS and even though they didn’t know it, INTEL ensured their death with the birth of the 4004 microprocessor in 1971.  That doesn’t mean that the hardcover book is dead; far from it for probably two generations (ours and our children’s) physical books will continue to thrive.  Johannes Gensfleisch zur Laden zum Gutenberg can rest easy on that fact.  It does mean, as you will see from Piotr’s presentation above, everybody between the entity that initiates the original thought (author) and the consumer of that information (reader) had better keep their resumes fresh and available. 

Safe for the time being is the book designer.  Presenting the original thought in an interesting and appealing manner is within their purview, and will be for the foreseeable future.  They also serve as the author’s agent to attract the reader to the author’s work.  With over 1,000,000 books published each year, and over 50,000 of those are published in the United States, it is the Designer’s job to attract the choices-rich reader to HIS/HER author’s book!
Between the full-service design firm and the author-friendly Print on Demand and their links to distribution, there is no reason why anyone that can write and has an interesting story to tell, cannot see their ideas in print in a very short period of time.

Today, anyone can be an author.  It is incumbent upon all of us who are starting, or do, understand this process to get the word out – Let your Story Out!  Just let your ideas flow and get them to your (potentially) rabid audience.  There are so many rich thoughts and ideas within all of us.  What a wonderful and more enlightened world this would be if people would only understand that their thoughts can be freed from our grey matter, and to see the light of day. 

This can be done in an affordable manner, relatively quickly, and with much less technical expertise that you might expect.  The CRITICAL issue, and there are friends online to help with this, is to pick the right companion to move you through the process.  I very nearly made a fatal mistake and my friends’ online were my sheppard through that jungle.  I will be more than glad to help others with this decision.  This paragraph will be the subject of a future post by me.  For a Sunday, I’ve prattled on long enough.  Have a Great Sunday everyone!


Photo Credit: City of Zephyrhills (http://www.ci.zephyrhills.fl.us/Photo1227.asp)

Pip: A Very Special Little Caterpillar

Today’s blog is about the world-wide introduction of Pip: a Very Special Little Caterpillar.  Pip’s creator, my very good friend for many years, Becky Macri, along with (people) illustrator Bonita Feeney, have created Pip, the youngest of six caterpillars, that faces some very big issues and challenges. This tender story of the enduring love between parent and child is sure to become a classic.

Becky is officially an author/ illustrator with the publication of Pip: A Very Special Little Caterpillar you can discover her books and some of her art on her website www.rebeccamacribooks.com

Becky, the Mother of two very special boys, has been married to my 20+ year friend Steve.  Collectively they are a great family, the makeup of which has enabled the naturally talented Becky to exercise her natural creativity to the fullest.    In the interest of clarity, Becky created all the illustrations in acrylics – less the people.  These were created by Realism Artist Bonita Feeney, a 30+ year talent whose work you can see on her website:  http://bonitafeeney.blogspot.com/

With playful illustrations and a message that reaches deep into the hearts of every reader, Pip is sure to make you smile and tug at your heartstrings!  Pip’s story weaves its way lovingly through the issues of children with special needs, the death of a parent, and the vastness of a mother’s love.

Pip is not a children’s story of colors and numbers, it is a story of character, values and how Love shapes the world around us.  It is sure to become a family classic, reaffirming the power of love, hope and perseverance in the hearts of all who read it.   Join Pip and his friends on a stroll through the flower garden that has been set before you. Pip is about to show you what it means to truly fly. Let the mending of saddened hearts begin.

Buy Pip: A Very Special Little Caterpillar   at Becky’s interesting website by clicking the link below.


May God bless you all!


PS: Here are the reviews of Pip so far; still in its first week of availability!  Pretty Impressive…

Views from Sandhausen Front Book Flap

It just occured to me that my editor Matt Jacob will be sending me his edits tomorrow, along with a final bill – and I have not sent him all of the copy that needs reviewed.  I had not written the book dust cover front inside flap content .  With no more than 10 minutes time, before Keith Olbermann comes on TV, I punched this (unedited) copy out. 

It think it is good; I’d be interested in feedback from many of the  2,567 blog followers.  Come on back to me.

 Foreign Service Assignments are Glamorous –Right?

Climb aboard this modern day journey to a foreign land.  Join the authors, Cliff and Lynn Feightner as they uproot their comfortable upper middle class life, and take the plunge into a Foreign Service Assignment – while in their early 50’s.  At a time when most people are moving their stock investments into bonds, and researching retirement communities, these intrepid adventurers sell everything that they have accumulated in their 40 years of marriage:  Jaguar, home, furniture, Tupperware and clothing – and move bare-bones to Europe.

Cliff, after a very successful career at a Fortune 100 company, accepts his CIO’s challenge and moves onto the biggest, most adventurous, and funny journey of their lives.  Travel with them as they set up home in a little village called Sandhausen, five kilometers south of Heidelberg Germany.  Knowing none of the language, having had only a few weeks to learn the culture, and looking forward to driving to work at 140 miles per hour on the Autobahn, they careen towards their future.

Explore with them as they stumble through: Germany, Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Austria, England, Belgium, Luxembourg, and France.  With a rudimentary set of language skills, in a world that is covered in road signs in a foreign tongue, survive a major car crash; live in their flat in the winter as the windows are replaced (over a six week period).  Drive the legendary ‘Romantic Road’, explore centuries old castles, savor 100 year-old libations, and discover cuts of meat in the Metzgerei that defy understanding, from an unidentifiable group of animals.

Walk with them on their roller-coaster ride of new beginnings, new understandings and new friends – set in a humorous, casual style.  Views from Sandhausen: Experiences from a Foreign Service Assignment is the most recent, and one of the very few books available on this misunderstood subject!