Another New Blogroller

Usually, I wait until a blog has been online for a month or two before adding it to my ever-so-exclusive blogroll. Not with this one. Randall Gamby is blogging about IT security and seeing as the guy holds super-maven-guru status on all things security related, I'll personally guarantee his blog will be a worthwhile read. Motormouth sez, “Check it out.”

Mother's Day Freebies

Free Hallmark 5×7 folded card: Choose a 5×7 folded card by May 1st, personalize it, and Hallmark will mail it directly to the recipient. Get it free (even the stamp is free) when you select “I Want Hallmark To Mail My Card For Me” at checkout and enter the code: CARD4MOM. You can choose any of the cards — it doesn't have to be specific to Mother's Day.

Free Romance Novels: Accepting your two free Harlequin Intrigue books and mystery gifts places you under no obligation to buy anything. You may keep the books and gifts and return the shipping statement marked cancel. If you do not cancel, about a month later we'll send you four additional Intrigue books and bill you just $4.24 each in the U.S. or $4.99 in Canada, plus 25ยข shipping and handling and applicable taxes, if any. NOTE: Be sure to cancel if you don't want to be charged monthly!

Free Dessert for Moms on Mother's Day: Free dessert for moms on Mother's Day with the purchase of an entree at more than 600 participating T.G.I. Friday's restaurants in the U.S.

Additionally, if you sign up for the T.G.I. Friday's Give Me More Stripes recognition program, you'll get a one-time skip to the front of the line pass and a coupon for a free appetizer or dessert, but turn down your speakers if you don't want to hear canned restaurant ambient noise. Also, the restaurant will send a Buy One Entree, Get One Free coupon to all Give Me More Stripes members who visit Friday's on Mother's Day.

A card, smutty books, and free chocolate: sounds like a darn fine Mother's Day to me!

Summer Reading List

I offered the following reading-list suggestions to my writing students:

Personal Essays/Political

Republican Party Reptile: PJ O'Rourke

Molly Ivins Can't Say That, Can She?: Molly Ivins

Consider the Lobster: David Foster Wallace (the titular essay is remarkably distasteful)

Travel Writing

Holidays in Hell: PJ O'Rourke

The Best Travel Writing of XXXX (yearly edition)

Short Stories

The Things they Carried: Tim O'Brien

The Age of Grief: Jane Smiley


A Prayer for Owen Meany: John Irving

A Very Long Engagement: Sebastien Japrisot (Motormouth's favorite novel)

Angels and Demons: Dan Brown

The Eight: Katherine Neville

A Ridiculously Long Novel that is Totally Worth It

Infinite Jest: David Foster Wallace

when it rains, it pours…

I haven't said anything to my bloggy public, but I'm selling a domain name I registered about eight months ago. Someone wants to buy it and the likelihood of having the time to put up my own site with it is slim, so hey, free money, right? So we're most of the way through the escrow process and last night, when I checked my email? There was a message from someone ELSE who wants to buy it. I told the johnny-come-lately no, because I'm already deep in the escrow process and that's just not how I roll. But I'm pretty happy that my creativity is going to equal free money and has already earned me a cult following. ๐Ÿ™‚

Hiring product management, marketing, or pre-sales analysts?

One of the best analysts in the high-tech field is currently accepting opportunities to help companies with product management, marketing or pre-sales analysis.

Randall knows everything, will tell you what he thinks without any conflict of interest, and is the most responsive analyst with whom I've had the pleasure of working. His resume is sterling (hello ARPA-net) and he's a heck of a guy, too. Tough combination to beat.

If you know of a technology company that might be looking for someone with his remarkable skill-set, email lynn at shotwellpr dot com.

CHEAP Baby Formula

The drugstore CVS seems to be quietly discontinuing its line of Bright Beginnings Milk-Based Infant Formula with Iron and Lipids. I have purchased 25.75-ounce cans for as low and $4.25 apiece. Yes, four dollars and twenty-five cents. You read that right. Call your CVS now and see if they have any. (If you're in the Northampton area, they're probably all sold out, and you have me to thank for that.) It is not available from

Emailing the folks who have the jobs I want

So I sent an email to the editors of Playboy yesterday:

I attended a graduate-student conference at CSU-Chico the week Playboy's poll downgraded the university from number one to number two party school in the nation. Under the auspices of literary-journalism research, I pestered the cutest Chico State guy at the conference to show me what they did for fun. He was hung-over from the night before but ultimately acquiesced. Now, seven years later, we're married with kids. CSU-Chico may be out of the top ten, but I'm damn glad you downgraded it when you did back in 2002. Go Wildcats!

And today, they wrote me back:

Great story! We hope you renew his subscription every year. –The Editors

To which I responded:

Thanks, but who says it's *his* subscription??? –LBJ, 15+ year subscriber

To which they said:

You're right; our bad.

And I said:

heh heh heh. ๐Ÿ™‚

And they said:

We hope you let him see it.

And I said:

Well, I keep him pretty busy, if you know what I mean (and I think you do). –LBJ

So tonight I had to pay up or shut up. It was a matter of principle! And of us both being well-rested for the first time in weeks. Thanks, Playboy.