In My Life, I've Loved Them All

Harry Potter Art RELEASED TODAY!

For those who haven’t already seen it… or just can’t get enough of it…

Harry Potter 7 Cover Art

Have you ordered your copy yet?? I had such good luck with Amazon for Harry Potter 6. They delivered it right to my door on the day it was released. A LOT of commuters were reading Potter on NYC public transportation the next day! Deathly Hallows is only a few months away! Get Excited!


Harry Potter Back & Front Cover Art

Smile Monkey, it’s GMAIL Chat

Barnali originally got me using Gmail Chat… what is nice is that there is nothing to download or install on your computer to use it, you just need to be logged into your Gmail account… sooo it is nice to use when on a work/public computer. Zan and Laura are good at catching me on Gmail Chat too. A down side to this messaging system is the lack of clever formatting to make your converstation unique. BUT there are some cute smileys to use if you know the key commands… Laura and I wasted spent quality time trying them all out. Here is a quick reference so you too can add some pazzaz to your Gmail Chat.

Smileys for GMAIL Chat


When you type these emoticons, GMAIL Chat automatically turns them to face up and down, and some are colored/animated! Hours and Hours of entertainment! Well… not so much, but still fun in an otherwise monotonous day. Try the monkey face! Good times.

BettysAttic.com

eBay Thrills


Bid, Buy or Sell on eBay!
Yes I realize I have not been posting as many craft ideas as I had originally planned to this month. Most of my online time in the past few weeks has been dedicated to eBay. Yes eBay, the lovely online marketplace where just about anything and everything is for sale. One of my family’s first eBay purchases was in the mid-90’s: A lot of 100 Beanie Babies to start my Moms collection. Back then it was all so new, the seller didn’t specify/we didn’t think to ask is the products were from a smoke free home… OOPS… thank goodness FABREEZE was invented a few years later.

Fuzzy Elmo Shirt!  Bid now!Upon watching an episode of CLEAN SWEEP my parents decided it was time to de-clutter the house. Like many Americans, my family just has so much stuff we don’t really need but can’t bear to get rid off. “Sure I’ll never fit into those pants from Jr High again, but they are practically brand new.” Multiply that mentality by about 1,00,000 and you get a house full of clothes, toys, wallets, cell phones, graphing calculators, prom dresses, computer parts, etc that could be cluttering up SOMEONE ELSES home. Our house is not in the greatest location for a successful garage sale, so the “Sell it on eBay” mentality has set in.

I honestly think eBay has taken away any excuse NOT to sell you random junk treasure online. What is the first thing EVERYONE says when asked why they do not sell on eBay? The hassle! You have to buy boxes and make all those trips to the post office and what not. Well, that is no longer the case, my friends. Yes it still required shipping the item ;) BUT the Post Office will ship you any size Priority Mail box for FREE! Even ones that have the eBay logo on the side. I thought this was too good to be true, so I tried it. At no cost to me, I got a big box full of Priority Mail boxes shipped to my doorstep in 10 days (yes requires a little of advance planning). You can also go to a Post Office and they’ll give you all you want for free.

Panasonic Cordless Phone- EXCELLENT CONDITION- Bid today!eBay is so smart, they made it so with a button click, you can print a shipping label WITH POSTAGE and your address/the buyers address already filled in. You pay for the postage with PayPal. And when you print the label online, you get FREE delivery conformation. THEN the Postman will pick up your Priority Mail for FREE! You just schedule the pickup online and tell where the package will be (I think you must pick a spot within like 100 yards of your mail box i.e. your porch). USPS has some pretty funny commercials about this free service, where the Boxes are talking to other inanimate objects (ok maybe I am easily amused).

So, with those problems solved, all you really need to be a successful seller on eBay is something to sell, a digital camera, a small scale (any female who has attempted a diet pry has a food scale, maybe in a closet somewhere) and a small amount of computer knowledge. If you are reading this blog right now, you have enough computer knowledge to handle it. A PayPal account and access to web storage space like PhotoBucket is also recommended. PayPay lets you receive quick payments, and PhotoBucket lets you store images for free so you can put a tag in your item description (instead of paying extra eBay fees to upload photos).

Do you have a PayPal account yet???

eBay has an easy to follow template to set up an auction listing. At the very beginning they ask you what you are selling, and recommend what category to sell it in based on the percentage of similar sales of that item. The best advice I can give is to tell you to DO SOME RESEARCH before you set up your auction. eBay lets you search “completed listings” to see if your product has sold at all recently, and for how much. You can also research what the most “searched for” items/key terms are, broken down by category. A Google search is helpful too, just to get some background on the product and possible some interesting facts you can include in your item descriptions.

There are other resources available to the computer savvy/nerdy individuals out there… like me. I can create special eBay banner ads that feature my auctions only or a specific topic (ohh ahh)... and use other eBay logos and what not… good for blogs, but MySpace tends to freak out when I try to upload them there. I use Auctiva which generates an official looking STORE for all of my items, free of charge. The marketer in me decided to create a logo for my family eBay identity too… so all my communications with Byers are branded.

Live Love Laugh BID!

So far I have had luck with old cell phones… still in good condition, my family just left 5 individual plans on 5 carriers and now have 1 family plan (where Kristi uses 99% of the minutes :oP). I’ve also gotten rid of old/good clothes from High School… because even though they may fit, I shouldn’t be dressing like a teenager anymore :o/ I’m trying to work my way up to 10 positive comments so I can get a Star! That way, when my mom starts selling her Rubber Stamp inventory, she will be a respected seller. If you love RUBBER STAMPS and SCRAP BOOKING get excited! We have a huge inventory of new, high quality stamps that will be for sale soon. Most, if not all, have been RETIRED and are no longer available in stores.

So this is the start of my eBay adventure. I haven’t been this involved in the eBay machine since our crazy times Sophomore year of college when we bought flags, mugs, and GORBY dolls (it was only $1). If you have any eBay advice, please share! Happy Bidding!


Rear Window Caption, Open Caption, and 300

Since moving to Texas, I rarely go to a theatre to see a movie. There aren’t many theatres too close by, ticket prices are high (especially to the unemployed) and my family has MVP Unlimited Movie Rentals from Hollywood Video. The local McDonalds also have the RED BOX where movies are a dollar (a strange concept to my West Coast friends). There are plenty of good movies out there that make it to DVD soon enough, it worth the wait to watch in the comfort of your own home.. and even if they are bad, you’ve only wasted pennies to see it. And one other thing… my brother is deaf.

Several of my family members are hard of hearing, so at home we have gotten used to always have the Closed Captioning on the TV. Unfortunately the Closed Captioning feature is not typically offered for major motion pictures on the BIG SCREEN. This is truly a sad fact. Though it is hard to give exact figures, an estimated 550,000 to one million people in the United States and Canada are deaf, and about 28 million Americans are reported to have severe to profound hearing loss. (1) That is a definite chunk of the population being alienated by Hollywood. Maybe if put into a dollar figure, someone would listen… 28 million Americans at $10 a head to see a movie… $280,000,000 per film in lost potential revenue.

Buy Movie Tickets Online Now!


300... go see this movie!A lot, ok MOST movies do not really need to be seen on the big screen to get the full experience. But every once and a while a movie comes along that DEMANDS it… 300 is such a movie. From the first trailer my brother and I saw to the countless praises from Bloggers all across the internet… we knew this movie had serious potential to be incredible. One guy wrote “300 makes Gladiator look like a cheap kids cartoon.” Awesome.

Obviously, when we found out 300 would be playing at the closest AMC with Open Caption, we were thrilled! Now, it must be said that this AMC is over an hour away. They play 1 open captioned film twice a day on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. So 1 movie 6 times a week, and if you miss it then it’s gone. The first time we tried this theatre, I was home about 5 days so it was either go see 40 Year Old Virgin or nothing… granted it was a very funny movie, but not necessarily one you’d want to watch with you parents sitting next to you. We’ve also gone to see The Inside Man. Both films were worth the drive.

Rear Window Captioning Device = literally a pain in the neckBefore I go further, let me elaborate on what exactly “Open Caption” means. There are 2 types of “accommodations” theatres have for the deaf/hard of hearing… Open Captioned and Rear Window Caption. Rear Window Caption SUCKS. Really. It is bad. To me it is about the minimum a theatre can do so they can say they are “accommodating” the hard of hearing. What happens is you attend a showing advertised as “Rear Window Captioned” but first stop by Customer Service to pick up a contraption that is basically a 12” Lucite square that is tinted like sunglasses, attached to a bendy arm that anchors in your cup holder. During the movie, a digital ticker-tape of the dialogue runs across the back of the theatre… so you can see the reflection of the dialogue in your tinted screen as you watch the movie, and none of the hearing people are disturbed. These “gooseneck” devices are notorious for falling over or needing reajustment seveal times throughout the movie, and leaves one with a stiff neck and blurred vision. Lovely.

Even if you can adjust your viewer thing to catch the reflection just right and don’t mind moving your eyes back and forth from screen to text viewer…. the past TWO TIMES we have gone to an AMC for an RWC show, the machinery hasn’t worked. But do they tell us that when we call ahead to ask if it’s working? NO. Do they tell us that when we buy the ticket to the special screening, or when we go to customer service to get the viewer? NO. Me, my sister and brother were all excited, sitting munching our popcorn, ready to watch Over The Hedge, only to sadly depart about 2 minutes into the movie… stumbling in the dark while my brother asks “The raccoon was Bruce Willis, right?” The manager was polite and apologized, refunded our tickets and snacks and gave use each a free pass so we’d come back. But it is all still a bit disheartening and puts a damper on the rest of your day. And why would we try to come back again when eveing calling and asking ahead of time does not guarantee anything.

So now my family and I stick to Open Caption (O.C.) movies at the AMC in Houston. It should be noted that Houston is the 4th largest city in the country, and yet only has 2, maybe 3 theaters with Open Caption films. With the help of Marilee Matlin and Organizations like InSight Cinema, the presence of OC Movies across the country is expanding.


In Sight Cinema

Open Caption films are the superior choice for the hard of hearing movie goers. In this case, the words appear directly on the screen (without being in a black-box background like on US TV shows). However, the captioning does differ from film to film (I don’t know why). In 40 Year Old Virgin, the words were in an aqua blue color, easy to read, and appeared next to the person speaking them. This made conversations between 2-3 people easy to follow. For Inside Man and 300, the words were in yellow and appeared at the bottom of the screen. This is fine 75% of the time when a scene is at night or what not, but it becomes hard to read when the words are against a white toga. Nevertheless, the overall experience is far more pleasant than rear window captioning. O.C. movies are open to the public of course, and even if you can hear perfectly well, I recommend you go see one if it’s playing in your area. You catch SO MUCH more of the dialogue when you see the words… and the theaters are usually a bit less crowded.

300... Seriously, go see this movieSo last weekend my brother, parents and I load up into the car and head into Houston to see 300. We are settled in our seats about 20 min early, when the manager come in and asks us if we are here to see the Open Captioned movie… and explains that it will not run at 2pm as advertised. WHAT THE DEUCE!? We remain clam as he explains that the movie arrived late and hadn’t been “built” yet. He says we are welcome to go see another movie but that was not exactly a viable solution. As we walk back to the customer service counter, we explain that this has happened to us before at other AMC Theatres and that we live over an hour away. The manager was more than pleasant and refunded our money and gave us 8 movie passes. My family started walking to parking lot, not too upset because we were leaving with about $80 worth of movie tickets. Before we made it to the end of the courtyard, the manager rushes out to tell us, if we were willing to wait and extra 20 minutes, the film would be ready (apparently movies are shipped to the theatre in several small reels, then the theatre combines them onto one BIG real, eliminating the need for a human being to sit in the projector room). YAY! So we make it back into the theatre, free of charge, and experience one of the greatest movies I have seen in a long long time. I really have to thank the AMC Studio 30 for going above and beyond in the customer service department.

300... AwesomeAt the end of the day, I am very happy my family had the chance to see 300 together on the big screen. I promise, go see this movie and you will not be disappointed. The story (thought not 100% historically accurate) keeps you captivated the entire time and the music/soundtrack is powerful and right on point. There are no words to describe how visually stunning the movie is to watch… 300 makes even a decapitation look beautiful and almost poetic. The feel of a graphic novel translated onto the Big Screen… and the greatest part is that no one actor is pulling the movie. Many of the actors you have probably seen or heard of before, but you are not focused on any one name, just an excellent ensemble telling an epic story…oh… and the main cast had to go through 6 weeks of intensive physical training… and it shows ;) Go See 300.




Funny T-Shirt Sale

One of my favorite Funny T shirt sites is having a sale! Woo Hoo. If you have not come across Busted Tees in your cyberspace wanderings, I highly recommend you check it out! The jokes align just right with my age group (old enough to remember the ‘80s). Even if you don’t order a shirt, just looking at the page will give you something to smile about (and the graphics make some good MSN icons… you didnt hear that from me)

Some of my FAVORITES Include

More Cowbell
Life Begins at FORTY
Party Fowl
Without Me it’s just AWESO
Jesus Hates the Yankees


Too old to sport a clever t shirt you say? I think not! Though I don’t think any will top my brother’s “Stupid People Shouldn’t Breed” shirt! Have a happy day.

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