Lorie’s List – 9/9/2016


And I’m back with another addition of Lorie’s List! This one is pretty short and sweet because I wanted to tell you about two new websites I came across this week that you’ve got to know about. One is business related and the other is writing related. If your business is writing then I suppose they’re both business, so I stand corrected. Regardless – on to the websites.Person on computer with smart phone and notebook

  • getrecommended.com – I learned about this site during a freelance usability project I did earlier this week, and I’ll tell you I found something I was really excited about. The site is built to be an virtual word of mouth – a cross between LinkedIn and Facebook – where you talk about the business your do and recommendations from people that have used your products or services. It’s still somewhat early days for Aaron and the team at getrecommended.com, but I see a lot of potential here! After talking to Aaron and hearing about some of the things they’re working on I think this could be huge!woman-865111_960_720
  • Inkitt.com – I stumbled across this a few days ago when I heard they were sponsoring a writing contest. They company helps get authors published, I won’t go into the details, but it’s based on algorithms to determine what’s getting the most hits and what is most likely to sell. Right now they’re sponsoring a novel writing contest that will see three finalists get their books published, a professional cover, and money for marketing. The books will also be presented to bigger companies for additional distribution – which could be huge if one of the companies pick up the book!

I would love to know what you think about both of these sites. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Lorie’s List for 11/01/2013


I’ts a new month and a fresh start. I’ve come realize that there Friday Five lists are anything but unique. And since I want my lists to be at least a little memorable I thought I would change things up a little. The lists will still be on Fridays, but they won’t necessarily be made up of five items. If I find five really great items, awesome. If I only find three items I think are worth sharing one week, then that’s what you’ll see. I want to make the most of our time together because hey, I care about you!

These will still be (probably) random, (rarely) newsworthy and on (nearly every) occasion strange or unique stories, Maybe you’ll find something to share with your buddies while you’re Pumpkin Chunkin this weekend.

California Sea Lion

Pnacho’s California Cousin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • Have you heard about a thief name Pancho? He’s well known by fishermen in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico for helping himself to their hard earned gains. In early October his thieving ways were caught on camera when he stole a prize fish right out of the hands of the man who caught it. Watch the video for yourself, but I don’t think he looked to guilty when was caught red-flippered. Oh, did I mention Pancho’s a sea lion?
  • Shut up and eat! A restaurant in Greenpoint, Brooklyn called Eat has started serving silent meals. As described here, the restaurant serves specials meals asking patrons to refrain not just from being on their phones, but from talking. It gives them the opportunity to focus on the experience, the food and their own thoughts. What do you think? Could you sit through a four-course meal without speaking? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
  • Touch That Baby Bump, Go to Jail! In my home state of Pennsylvania a man was recently charged with harassment for touching the belly of a pregnant woman. In the Keystone State someone can be charged with harassment when action they take has an intent to harass, annoy or alarm another person. The reaction to the charges has been mixed. Most women who’ve been pregnant and had someone just walk up and start touching their stomach seem to fall on the side of lock the guy up. I’m not saying I would charge everyone who thought they had a right to grope my belly and unborn child, but there were definitely a few creepers I would have considered calling the cops on!

    The Green Renewable Current Desk System drawing

    The Green Renewable Current Desk System drawing

  • Girl Power! A team of 9th grade girls is developing a system of connected desks that uses the nervous energy of teenagers to create electricity. The students are hoping that their design can eventually be taken to Africa to help students who don’t have access to electricity. These amazing young women have a great future ahead of them.

I hope you like the new format. If you have any ideas or if you’d like to Guest Write The List, I would love to hear from you! Send me a note here and we’ll get you on the blog!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Lorie’s Friday 5 for 10/25/2013


First, I want to thank everyone for being so understanding about last weeks post being missing. My husband is fine, we’re hopefully going to find a new vehicle this weekend and put this little deer laden adventure behind us.

Let’s kick-start the moving on….

Since it’s the spookiest time of the year I thought I would use this week’s Friday 5 to take a look at things Halloween related. These are five (probably) random, (rarely) newsworthy and on (nearly every) occasion strange or unique stories. I hope there’s at least one thing on the list you haven’t already heard about so you have something to talk about while trick-or-treating this week.

Let’s see what we can scare-up…

1. Halloween evolved from a Celtic called Samhain (pronounced “sah-win”) and who believed that the boundaries between the living and the dead overlapped and the dead would come back to cause havoc. Their festival involved large bonfires that attracted bugs, which would attract bats, another common sight in modern Halloween.

2. Haunted houses are very popular, both the kind haunted by people in costume and the kind haunted by the bodily challenged.

Freaky angry looking bunny with Amy Bruni and Kris Williams from Ghost Hunters

Scare House Bunny with a couple of TAPS Ghost Hunters

One in my “neck of the woods” has consistently been ranked one of the top in the United States. Scare House in Pittsburgh has even been voted the #1 haunt in the world by TopHaunt.com! If you like getting scared, this is a great place to go.

3. Trick-or-Treat is a huge, am I right? What kid doesn’t love running around in costumes and shaking people down for candy? Americans buy over 600 million pounds of candy each year for Halloween. No word on how much of that candy is bought and consumed by the purchaser before the trick-or-treaters even get into costume.

4. In the US superstition says that black cats are bad luck and associated with witches. In the UK white cats are considered bad luck around Halloween. The cats, reportedly, were indifferent about and then suddenly rushed out of the room.

5. Halloween just isn’t Halloween without a good ghost story. Most everyone has one. Some people like the folks at TAPS go out and make them. Some people collect them. Take the time to tell a good ghost story this Halloween and scare the pants off someone you care about.

That’s this week’s 5. If you have an idea for next week’s Friday 5, or if you would like to Guest Write the Friday 5, I would love to hear from you! Send me a note here and we’ll get you on the blog!

Have a great weekend everyone and let’s stay spooky out there!

Friday 5 for 10/11/2013


Time again for Friday 5! If this is your first time here these are usually five (probably) random, (rarely) newsworthy and on (nearly every) occasion strange or unique stories. Hopefully you’ll find something to talk about while antiquing with your mom this weekend.

1. Are you a social media ninja? Here is your chance to tweet a plant! That’s right, now you can tweet a plant, for science no less. No word if it follows you back.

Chocolate Lab with medal for finishing a half marathon

Boogie and his medal for completing a half marathon.

2. Have you heard about Boogie, the dog who ran away and got a medal for completing a half marathon all on his own? I’ve linked to just one of the stories, and I saw an update on TV that Boogie has been microchipped and scheduled to be fixed in hopes he’ll stay closer to home, but didn’t find a link to that particular story. Boogie set a record time for an independent animal and hopes are high he’ll come back next year, with his owners.

3. Bet you can’t guess how biologist lure jaguars to camera traps…by using a certain fancy pants designer’s big name perfume. You could say it’s kind of an Obsession for the cats because one of the ingredients is chemical compound derived from the scent glands of civets. But will you still want to wear it?

3.  A deaf composer recently got the chance to enjoy music again. He’s been able to write music but not hear it, until a recent trip to the theater and some special technology. 

4. A professor in Texas is spending a year living in a dumpster. Dr. Jeff Wilson is conducting a year-long experiment in sustainability. I had some interesting professors in college, but none that lived in a dumpster…well maybe one that looked like he dressed in one….

Jon Stewart is speechless

One of the rare occasions when Jon Stewart was speechless.

5. Even though she didn’t win the Nobel Peace Prize, Malala Yousafzai has touch a lot of lives. Jon Stewart has made a lot of people speechless on The Daily Show. When Malala was a guest on the show it was Stewart who was speechless. This is a great account of their interaction and the video.

That’s this week’s Friday 5. I hope you found something to make you smile. Have a great weekend!

If you have an idea for next week’s Friday 5, or if you would like to Guest Write the Friday 5, I would love to hear from you! Send me a note here and we’ll get you on the blog!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Friday 5 for 10/04/2013


It’s time again for the Friday Five. As my regular readers know, I was a government contractor in a “previous life”. I know folks who are out of work because of the government shutdown. With no idea when their next pay check may come, life is a giant ball of anxiety for them. Then there are the programs that aren’t getting funded or staffed and the trickle down impact that’s having on people all over the country creating a whole bucket of fear and anxiety on people everywhere.

English: Sign in front on of the Minnesota His...

So instead of the usual five (probably) random, (rarely) newsworthy and on (nearly every) occasion strange or unique stories, I thought I would share five things you could do to help people who find themselves between a rock and a hard-place because of the shutdown. No matter where you stand on the politics of this thing, I don’t know any premature infants getting special formula through WIC or kids with cancer waiting to start drug trials who did anything to put themselves into the position they’re in. Maybe, just maybe, there’s something we can do to help out our fellow human beings to make things a little less scary. Maybe you’ll find something to share with your buddies at Ultimate Frisbee this weekend.

1. Donate to your local food bank! Call and ask what they need most and get that. If you can, give money so they can get fresh produce or special items. Find out if they accept things like personal hygiene or baby care items – if the shutdown continues people will need these items too. If the shutdown doesn’t continue these are the kind of items that people put below keeping a roof over their heads and food on the table. Soap, toothpaste and detergent may not seem like luxury items to most of us, but sometimes they are…It’s something to think about the next time you go to that big box store. (Side note, animal shelters are usually in need too.)

2. Donate your time! This is something even those affected by the shutdown can do – and it might even help give you something to do and keep your mind off of things for a few hours. Places like food banks might be getting busier and could probably use a hand. Animal Shelters could use people to help walk dogs. Women’s shelters, libraries, and programs impacted by the shutdown might need some volunteers. Give them a call.

3.  Take a look around and see who might need help. Do you have a neighbor who doesn’t know when they might get their next paycheck? Do you know a mom who depends on WIC to feed her kids and is scared she might not be able to feed them? A gift card to the grocery store or to Amazon could make a huge difference to them. Just don’t make a big deal about it, send it anonymously in the mail, slip it under the door, leave it on a windshield and take the opportunity to be someone’s Guardian Angel. If it’s someone you’re really close to invite them to dinner, give them some moral support and tell them everything is going to be OK (even if you’re not sure it will be) because it’ll help a lot to hear it.

4.  Donate blood. I know that isn’t necessarily a government shutdown specific item, but it’s something that is always needed. I’ve heard that there have been some blood donation collection locations that were closed because they were government sponsored, but there are still places to donate. If you can give blood, please do!

5. Finally, be kind to one another. One of the things I remember most after the terrorist attacks on 9/11 was the feeling of taking care each other that swept through the country. People were scared, but they were a little bit nicer. They held doors open for each other. They stopped to help a stranger when dropped something. Maybe that’s something we can try to do again. A lot of people are a little freaked out and being a little kinder will go a long way to making people feel better. It doesn’t cost you anything. You don’t need to take extra hours out of your day. Just be kind – hold the door open for a mom struggling with a stroller, grab the grocery cart for someone caught in the rain, help pick up what the toddler throws all over the floor at the store without giving Mom nasty looks. It’s not much but it could make a huge difference.

That’s this week’s Friday 5. I hope you found some ideas on what you can do to help make a difference during the shutdown.

If you have an idea for next week’s Friday 5, or if you would like to Guest Write the Friday 5, I would love to hear from you! Send me a note here and we’ll get you on the blog!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Friday 5 for 9/27/2013


Welcome to this week’s Friday Five. It’s been a week filled with backhoes, plumbing, piles of dirt around here. I certainly hope your week has been a little quieter and a little cleaner than mine has been! Let’s try to take our minds off things shall we?

To help here are five (probably) random, (rarely) newsworthy and on (nearly every) occasion strange or unique stories. I hope there’s at least one thing on the list you haven’t already heard about so you have something to talk about on the way to the next chocoholics meeting.

1. You’ve probably heard by now that Bill Gates has admitted that the familiar Control-Alt-Delete to log-on to your Windows computer was, well, a mistake. It’s the only one he admitted to, everything else is still being referred to as a “feature.”

40 Foot Tall Rubber Duck floats into Pittsburgh, PA past bridge filled with people

40 foot tall Rubber Duck floats into Pittsburgh, PA

2. The giant rubber duck that’s been making its way around the world made its way to the United States and debuted in Pittsburgh, PA today! The artist behind the duck says that it has healing properties, I don’t know about that but it sure is it cute.

3. My daughter and I discovered the phenomenon of Bat Dad a few weeks ago, but he was everywhere this week. This Vine mastermind has created some hysterical videos, but I really do have to wonder how if his family isn’t starting to think it’s getting a little old.

Man with beard styled as a bowl and eating Ramen Noodles out of it.

Isaiah Webb is not afraid of getting food in his “Incredibeard”

4. Have you seen the guy who likes to style his beard in really unique ways? Like into a<a< span=””> title=”Beard for a bowl” href=”http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/24/ramen-beard_n_3982332.html?utm_hp_ref=weird-news&#8221; target=”_blank”> bowl for his Ramen noodles? I guess he’s not afraid of getting a hair in his food.

5. Finally, here’s a great story about a little boy who wanted to do a a 5K with his older brother who has cerebal palsy but his mom didn’t have they money for a jogger so they could do it. Tobias decided to write a local television station asking for help locating one. He even offered to run with other children if someone would loan him one. This is an awesome little boy with a great story and an amazing ending!

That’s this week’s Friday 5. I hope you found something that lifted your spirits or put a smile on your face.

If you have an idea for next week’s Friday 5, or if you would like to Guest Write the Friday 5, I would love to hear from you! Send me a note here and we’ll get you on the blog!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Friday 5 for 9/13/2013


Circling Friday the 13th date on calendar with...

First and foremost a big Happy Birthday to my sister Jennifer and our Aunts Jean and Jane. All three of them were born on Friday, September the 13th (Jean and Jane are twins born…just a few…years before my sister). As you might expect, they are not very superstitious people.

Since today is Friday the 13th this week’s Friday Five are a little more on the superstitious side! These are five (probably) random, (rarely) newsworthy and on (nearly every) occasion strange or unique. I hope there’s at least one thing on the list you haven’t already heard about so you have something to talk about at that ferret show this weekend.

And off we go…

1. A lot of people consider Friday the 13th to be unlucky, but is it really? There have been a number of studies done. You might not be surprised by the statistical results.

2. If that’s not enough for you, there a bunch of things you can do on Friday the 13th to bring you even more bad luck.

3. There are a lot more superstitions out there that have nothing to do with the date. There’s probably at least one of these wedding superstitions you haven’t heard of – like it’s good luck for the bride to find a spider on her wedding dress. I’m not so sure about that one, with the screaming and jumping and swearing I’d be doing as I tore the dress off it wouldn’t seem like good luck!

4. If you’re the kind of person that hasn’t met a black cat whose path you won’t cross or a ladder you won’t walk under, then this might be the website for you! It has superstitions from around the world to help you tempt the fates and change your luck.

5. Maybe all this talk about superstitions and bad luck has you a little nervous. Well have no fear, I’m looking out for you! Here are good luck charms and symbols from around the world. Pick as many as you think you’re going to need for today and have a great weekend!

If you see something that you think belongs on my Friday Five list, or if you’d like to do a guest version of the Friday Five, send me a note here. I’d love to hear from you!

Friday Five for 9/6/2013


In keeping with the idea of sharing five things every Friday, this is the second edition of the Friday Five! These are five (probably) random, (rarely) newsworthy and on (nearly every) occasion strange or unique. I hope there’s at least one thing on the list you haven’t already heard about so you have something to share with your grandmother when you call her this weekend (you know you’ve meant to call).

And off we go…

1. Johnstown, Pennsylvania, my hometown, is also home to the world’s steepest vehicular inclined plane. Not to be confused with the world’s longest vehicular inclined plane which is near-by Pittsburgh. If you’re ever in the area check it out, it’s kind of cool.

A woman's head on a mollusk's body

Artistic collaboration between a mother and her 4-year-old daughter.

2. What do you get when an artist mom and her 4-year-old daughter collaborate on a project? Some pretty cool art that what!

3. Small town politics can be dog-eat-dog. Some people are wondering if it wasn’t more of an assassination attempt when the cat mayor of a town in Alaska was attacked by a dog. What do you think?

4. A stork was recently arrested in Egypt on suspicion of spying. There was some concern that it was in cahoots with some GPS sharks that were allegedly swimming off the coast. No word from Dr. Doolittle on his involvement.

5. Would you be willing to wait eight years to get your expensive diamond earring back? A woman in England is! You won’t believe who took it.

That’s this week’s Friday 5! Do you have something you think would be perfect for the list? Drop me a line here: 

Have a great weekend!

Friday 5 for 8/30/2013


I thought I would try something new for the blog and share five things every Friday. Five (probably) random, (rarely) newsworthy and on (nearly every) occasion strange or unique. Hopefully it’ll be a chance to see something new and give you something to say when there’s awkward silence on your blind date this weekend.

English: Schultz house at Johnstown, PA in 188...

House in Johnstown, PA after 1889  Flood

Off we go…

1. Did you know that the first peacetime relief services of the American Red Cross were in 1889 in Johnstown, PA? Clara Barton and volunteers arrived in town just after the Great Johnstown Flood in May and stayed until October providing services to the devastated city.

2. All you Video Music Award fans out there can own a piece of history. Part the red carpet is up for sale on eBay with a starting bid of $500. You could always choose the buy it now option for $5000. The auction ends Monday so get your bids in before it’s too late!

3. A pot-bellied pig was picked up by the police. The irony was not missed by the officers in Grand Rapids.

Honey Badger self portrait

Honey Badger Selfie!

4. A shop owner in Japan transforms into a masked hero to aid people on the stairs at a subway station. He’s looking for volunteers to help him, no information in the article on where to do to sign up, or if it’s BYOC (Bring Your Own Costume).

5. Honey Badger don’t care, but he tweets!  I’m one of his followers and I have to say he takes some great selfies.

So there you have it, the first five Friday 5! (Try saying that 5 tines fast!) I don’t want to keep all this fun to myself, so if you see something that would be perfect for next week’s Friday 5 tweet me @LorieEGSinger or leave a message below!

Tell Me a Story Tuesday – Mega Millions Edition!


In case you were sleeping under a rock, the largest jackpot in world history was split three ways on Friday. Lottery fever griped the nation and people everywhere dreamed of what they would do with a spare $500 Million lying around the house. I admit we caught the fever at our house too.

Dollar signs in a smiley face

I'd look like this if I won $150+ million.

I nervously checked the numbers Saturday and discovered that we won! I’m laying low right now because I’m a little worried about the press attention when I go to pick up my $2. No, I didn’t win life changing money. I didn’t even break-even. A girl can dream can’t she?

Which is the source for this week’s challenge: What would you do with a cash payout of in the neighborhood of $158 Million ? Go ahead. Dream big. We all did. Look at this as starting to plan for when you really do hit the big money.

What about me? Well my winnings would look a little like this…..

First calls would be to lawyers and financial planners who would have to sign an non-disclosure agreement. We’d try to carry on like any other day(s) while everything gets put into place. Plans include setting up trusts for various for our daughters and other close family members. A charitable foundation would be established to handle requests for money and to help us raise money for causes close to our hearts. (The goal would be make sure that we don’t just give money away, but ensure that people use the money to establish a better future and then pay it forward by helping others.) There would be a lot of investing because I want winning to be a blessing and not a curse – I want to make sure that we never have to worry about another bill ( and neither do our kids or eventual grand kids).

What about the fun stuff? Oh there would be plenty of that too…a new car (or two), building our dream house, a couple of dream vacations and getaways for the whole family. I’d finally establish the video production company I’ve dreamed of since I was a kid, only now we would focus on making great videos  and PSAs for non-profits that have a hard time paying for videos that would make huge difference in fundraising. Maybe even set-up a video artist retreat somewhere.

Between the foundation and the production company my husband (a 18+ year TV news veteran) would stay as busy as we wanted, without having to stress. We could watch our kids grow. Know that our nieces and nephews were going to be able to get the kind of education they want, and make life easier for a lot of people.  Then we really would be living the dream…

Ok. Your turn. What would you do if they handed you that over-sized check? As always, make sure your story abides by the ground rules. Now…

Tell me a story!