A collection of thoughts and comments on various topics.
|This is a place for me to capture thoughts, ideas, snippets of this and bits of that, that don't seem to lend themselves to one of the more traditional item types.|
|Currently open tabs, reflecting work to be done: Four Seasons Auction, Friday Fiction Fracas, Promptly Poetry Challenge, Bard's Hall Contest, 12 Days of "Christmas" Forum, Secret Santa!, Winter Fun Raffle & Auction, Collectors Corner, EXPRESS IT IN EIGHT, WhataLand (Forum), Contest Challenge, Poetry Topic of the Month. Before all that, though (and with all due respect to Sum1)...
GO ARMY! BEAT NAVY!
|I would bet a boat-load of GPs that, sometime in the last 24 hours and somewhere on this site, I came across the word 'lahars'. After a fairly thorough search of the Community Newsfeed and basically turning my webpage / website cache upside down and shaking vigorously, I've come up empty as to where it appeared. This wouldn't be a big deal, except that I ran across the same word a couple of hours ago on page 91 of The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin and the coincidence is driving me !
|This week's 48-HOUR CHALLENGE: Media Prompt features a music video I actually cue up from time to time: Toto's "Africa". I really like the harmony and rhythm, and the video aspect is pretty cool. I like the library setting and how some of the lyrics play into it - "...But she hears only whispers of some quiet conversation..." as the librarian comes into view, as well as how the musicians' stage is digitally altered to resemble a stack of books, the topmost of which is the one the patron is seeking. Lastly, I enjoy the refrains, because then I get to watch the guys play some decidedly non-standard percussion instruments (outside of my experience, anyway).
|I enjoy wasting a little time watching YouTube videos, and seem to be particularly drawn to those showing accidents caused by inattentive / clueless drivers. Whenever I see a car change lanes right in front of a semitrailer, though—as if they completely forgot to check their mirrors or look left/right, thus completely overlooking the behemoth right next to them—the Emperor's voice echoes in my head: "You will pay the price for your lack of vision."
|There's an actual scientific article in an actual scientific journal that claims octopi came from outer space. The publication is Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology and the article is titled Cause of the Cambrian Explosion – Terrestrial or Cosmic? They're just now figuring this out? Hel-lo-o! Didn't they see Finding Dory? If an octopus named Hank - okay, a septopus, if Dory's tentacle count is correct - can pilot a spaceship, driving that truck would've been child's play. They just made it look hard for the movie.
|Round 7 Blogvillian Pop Up!
1. Orange creamsicle
Write about something people do that isn't necessarily a huge deal, but if everyone did it, it would be total chaos. What have you done or would never do?
POST TITLE: Speed freaks? Nope.
I live across the street from a high school. The nearest major intersection is to the north between the school and pretty much anyplace I like to go; places to the east of me, for example. The intersection is fully outfitted with crosswalks and pedestrian crossing signals. That being said, if your preferred timepiece indicates a just-before-, lunch-, or just-after-school time, and you are possessed of little patience—or just having a bad day—avoiding that intersection is definitely indicated.
Why? There is a 7-11 convenience store unfortunately located on the northeast corner of that intersection, as well as a Wendy's and McDonald's within easy walking distance; they, too, are on the far side of the intersection. This confluence of stores, eateries and teens means that, although Colorado law generally permits a right turn on red, the chances of being able to execute the maneuver before cross traffic gets a green light are pretty low. The speed at which most of these kids move makes you wonder if they're capable of outrunning, well...anything. It's as if they have, as Filby remarked regarding time traveler and friend, H.G. Wells, "...all the time in the world." They're completely oblivious to the stares directed at them from virtually every car waiting to make a turn, and they walk so slowly, you'd think they were afraid of disturbing the dust on the street. I can't help but wonder how they'll feel when they're at the wheel and their not-quite contemporaries are taking their sweet time and making them wait.
Anyway - I would neither amble, meander, stroll or otherwise lollygag my way across a street. I don't do it now and I will continue to make all deliberate haste when crossing a street. I'll keep on doing it, too, until I'm physically unable to walk. Of course, by the time I get to that point, "all deliberate haste" will be a little less hasty.
Use the genres pets/philosophy/political to weave a tale but no essay nor current political parties/politicians.
POST TITLE: "If elected..."
"Okay, Rory, see if this makes any sense to you. Carole Weininger's running for City Council. The thing is, I know her; she's a cart wrangler down at the grocery store. It's not just one of the things she does: it's the only thing she does."
Rory just stared at Simon.
"I know, right? She says she's qualified, because she has a handle on the issues facing the community. The only thing she has a handle on is whichever shopping cart she's dragging back into the store. She's built her platform on the bumper stickers she's seen in the parking lot! Can you believe that? Her philosophy is, people push what's important or meaningful to them, almost always to the point of having their say via a window or bumper sticker. According to her, Monktonville can afford to cut back on education costs, because more than three-quarters of the kids at Euell Gibbons High School are already Honor Students. How did she figure this out? At her last campaign rally, she said there were a dozen cars in the lot one night, and ten of them sported "My child is an Honor Student at Euell Gibbons High" stickers, so it was a perfectly logical conclusion. That's plain nuts!"
Rory continued to meet Simon's gaze, but that was it.
"I mean, she didn't check to see if the other cars represented households without any high school students, or if their owners even lived in this school district. By her logic, people who listen to KBUM 107.1 shouldn't even have a car to put a sticker on, because they'd be bums! So, am I wrong to think she's not a good candidate?"
Rory got up and walked away.
"Cats!" Simon sighed. "Just when you think they're actually listening to you..."
When should books be banned? Share thoughts but do answer as personally as possible. Have you had this experience? Would your life-experience or who-you-are be banned? Why is this happening now?
POST TITLE: Got matches?
I don't think books should be banned à la Ray Bradbury, but I don't think I'd have a problem with a system that more or less tailors access in a manner similar to movie ratings. If you wouldn't want your child to see a particular film, because you know they wouldn't sleep a wink for a week afterward, then you wouldn't want them to read a book with similar imagery, right? Kids will choose the funniest - and strangest - things to imitate. An example: When the weather's decent, my two and one-half year old grandson and I go for walks. When a transit bus approaches, I'll get down on one knee, so that we're at more or less the same level when I point it out to him. The thing is, he'll get down on one knee, too; it defeats the purpose, but it's cute. If I were to watch a fairly graphic documentary on open-heart surgery, say, I wouldn't want him to watch. There'd be the scalpels and rib spreaders and, of course, blood. The blood may or may not bother him, and we don't have any rib spreaders; we do, however, have knives. I wouldn't want him to think he's the second coming of Dr. Christiaan Barnard.
If my life - warts and all - were to be turned into a book, I don't think I'd be banned. It's a pretty safe bet, though, that I'd be in the non-E section. I was young enough long enough to do things that young kids shouldn't read about - even if they've somehow found about stuff like that - until they're not quite so young.
|For this blog post, I chose (elected) Option 3 TABOO (POLITICS) January 6, 2021 was the date of The Insurrection. What were your views then and now? Did it affect you? When did you find out? Was it justified or criminal or just a picnic?
Getting right to it: the rioters were wrong. I can see no justification for clearly criminal behavior. Up to the point the crowd breached the barriers they could, perhaps, have made the case they were merely exercising their First Amendment right to peaceful assembly. That argument went out the window as soon as their conduct became unlawful. The crowd's actions quickly escalated from criminal trespass to physical assault, in many cases using makeshift and actual weapons.
Everyone who participated in the riot should be held accountable for their actions. I think the organizers and leaders, as well as those who committed assault should face jail time, those who destroyed Capitol property should at least be fined, and those who "merely" trespassed should be required to perform Community Service (they helped make a huge mess, so having to do some cleaning seems appropriate).
|Stabsgefreiter [Bundeswehr equivalent to a U.S. Army Specialist] Schilling and Specialist Anderson were making good progress along the road to friendship. Anderson had been temporarily assigned to Schilling's communications unit in order to take part in a small CPX (Command Post Exercise) as part of an interoperability mission. It also gave him a chance to earn the first-level Badge for Military Proficiency. The soldiers had shared a two-man room in Schilling's barracks and Anderson had participated in some of the daily routine of the commo unit, as well as getting the chance to read prepared scripts over the radio as part of the CPX.
The really fun part, though, had been the Thursday night visit to the local Bierfest. Work night or not, the tent was packed when they arrived. Typical Bierfest music was blaring from the speakers suspended from the tent's support beams and waitresses took care of their thirsty customers, carrying up to four huge mugs of beer at a time. Anderson wasn't much of a drinker, so the better part of his beer would have gone to waste, had not Schilling, his very helpful drinking buddy, come to the rescue. What he lacked in beer capacity, though, he made for up in eating ability. No fewer than three giant pretzels - with mustard, of course - and a couple of Bratwurst made their way to his spot at the table and then into his belly.
The two men had a very good time and made it back to the barracks without incident, although Schilling appeared to have exceeded his beer limit somewhat. The next morning, he helped Anderson pack up and invited him to visit him at his parents' house in Landsberg am Lech later that summer after his military service ended.
|Someone needs to tell the Cracker Jack people to stop using driver licenses as prizes. I was 2nd in line waiting for a left-turn arrow to go green when a city bus crossed the intersection in front of us and made a stop. Two following cars pulled in behind it, but were eventually able to pass it on the left while it sat at the bus stop. The turn signal changed and the knucklehead in front of me turned into the left-most turn lane, instead of staying in the one he'd started in. He proceeded to pass the bus and began to make an immediate right turn into the McDonald's & Walgreens parking lot. Naturally, the bus chose that exact moment to complete the passenger pick-up / drop-off process. I'm sure the sight of the bus's grille filling his passenger-side window elevated his heart rate quite nicely. Hopefully, everyone on the bus was safely seated.