Monday, May 25, 2015

Wanderlust

R.a.n.t. for week of 05/24/15
Every year I have the same desire. Or to be more precise, every month or so I have the same desire. The desire to take off and go somewhere. Having lived in the same city for over forty years, there is precious little for me to discover.

But it's not only discovering something new, it's seeing something new. Finding a new favourite place to visit. Meeting new people, doing something (anything) new. It's why I love to travel to foreign countries so much. The second you step into a new country, you are immediately immersed in new sights, sounds, smells and experiences. It can be quite exhilarating.

Also I don't always have to visit a country I've never been to. Returning to England or Ireland every few years is always a new experience. Having been to London on two separate occasions, I recall how each visit was entirely different. So again, the same feeling is returning. The feeling to fly away. Where will I go? When will I go? Time can only tell. But I hope it's soon. My lust for wandering is growing increasingly with each passing day.

Questions for discussion:
How often do you go no holiday?
How often would you travel if you could?
Where's the most interesting place you've been?

Friday, May 22, 2015

Pizza Crazy

Doh Doh likes pizza
very much.
If you see her pie,
then do not touch.

Pile it high with
extra cheese.
Set the oven
to 350 degrees.

I see her pace
and check the time.
If you steal,
it is a crime.

From the oven
it is drawn.
When Doh Doh eats,
it's already gone.

J.A.Scott

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Where Is Everybody In France

R.a.n.t. for week 05/17/15
Now that the April A-Z blogging challenge has come to a successful conclusion, I've suddenly found other duties I need to catch up on. This, coupled with the fact I've had a house guest the past week, I have found little time to work on writing. Fortunately, Muriel, a blogger at French Yummy Mummy has agreed to guest this week. If you enjoy her article, make sure you stop by her own blog and say hi. Take it away Muriel.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Everybody knows that we French take a whole month off in August. But what you probably don’t know is that it is simply impossible to do any sort of business in France in May. Take my word for it: don’t even try. Why? Because we have at least four Bank holidays and, in my home country, Bank holidays don’t necessarily fall on a Monday. It can be any day.
If you don’t believe it, here is a quick recap of all the days off in France this month:
– 1st of May (A Friday this year)
– 8th of May (A Friday this year)
– 14th of May (A Thursday. This means that most French will ‘make the bridge’ and take Friday off as well. Don’t even try to call anyone in France today).
– 25th of May (A Monday this time)

This basically means that 5 days are off, and I have to do the same amount of work when all of France seems to be enjoying the sun somewhere nice (while it is grey or pouring in London, if you must know). My French friends and family don’t understand what the fuss is all about. They feel that they are entitled to the additional time. This Gallic sense of entitlement is driving me mad.

In fact, I must admit that I am fuming. Because of the various days off, bridges, and so on, and so forth, half of my clients (I have a small business in France) simply forgot to pay their invoices. Now that I am British too, I believe that there is such a thing as too much vacation. The excuses I got were simply priceless. Here are a few:

”But it’s a Bank holiday”
Maybe. But you see, my own bank didn’t forget me. How do I repay the loan if I am not paid?

“But my bank is closed today..”
Haven’t you heard of automatic transfer services?

”But I promise you, I am not a thief!”
Well why don’t you just pay then?

”Sorry, we went to Italy for a break”
Lucky you.

”Because of the Bank holidays we don’t know when we will be able to pay you.”
Right. I am losing fast my sense of humour here. Notice served.

It felt a bit like talking to a wall. They didn’t understand where I was coming from. I am feeling very British right now. So British that I am seriously considering selling the whole thing and investing somewhere else. I can’t put up with such attitudes any more. And life is too short, right? I told you, I am angry.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Muriel (pronounced MuriEL, not
MEWriel). is a French native
currently residing in London. She
is a recent collumnist for a popular
relationship website and maintians
her own personal blog:
French Yummy Mummy

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Catching Zzzz's

R.a.n.t. for week of 05/10/15
I've been doing a lot of volunteer work on the weekends lately. I say a lot, it's more like seven hours. For three and a half hours on Saturday morning and three and a half hours on Sunday morning I've been volunteering my time at the recent renovation project for security. The trick is, the hours I signed up for are 3:00am till 6:30am. This means, my entire sleeping schedule is out of whack.

I'm a person who normally doesn't sleep much, and not at all during the day. I have tried several times after my shift to get a few extra hours of shut-eye but it doesn't work.Why do I volunteer at such an odd time? Mostly because others won't do it and I don't mind the quiet time. (Like I don't get enough living alone). A few remedies I've tried is getting to bed earlier, or taking some form of sleep aid. The results are not the best and whatever I do, I still feel tired the rest of the weekend. I suppose I could let them find someone else for that time slot for a week or two, but nah. Not me. I like to help out where I can. And it's sort of challenging, and I love challenges. Besides, I think I'm finally starting to catch up on my....... zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Questions for discussion:
Are you a light sleeper?
Can you fall asleep at the drop of a hat?
What's the longest you've ever stayed up?

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Reflections from A to Z

R.a.n.t. for week of 05/03/15
Now that April has passed, I can go back to my regular schedule of r.a.n.t.ing away on a weekly basis. It also means I will begin working on my short story collection again. Does that mean more work for me or less? Your guess is as good as mine. But it is good to reflect on the previous month, so I'll incorporate that as my r.a.n.t. for the week because working on this project has given me plenty to complain about. Well, not really, it's actually given me more to appreciate. With a few small complains.

First the appreciation. April was a great month because I had many visitors. I love writing, but I love writing more when it's appreciated. In April I also received the highest amount of traffic ever (if you discount the two months I was being spammed). Also, instead of receiving a stray comment from time to time, I received daily comments. For a writer such as myself, it means a lot. It felt like my writing was finally being appreciated. On top of all that, I discovered many great blogs and bloggers. The various topics amazed me. Anything from Cornwall to Outer-space were discussed. Tales of the Twilight Zone or a brave lizard were related. Writers gave helpful writing tips, or discussed motorcycle trips. Some wonderful information about Florida was presented and some not so wonderful disasters were described. Musical info and movies to watch. Yes, I think there was a fantastic assortment of things to read about this month. I enjoyed it, did you?

As for things to r.a.n.t. about, I will always find something. It's what I do. There were so many participants, I was not able to find time to visit everyone. I really would have liked to do that, and if I had the time, I would. Some of the blog postings were quite long, but I can't really point the finger at anyone because there would be three more pointing back at me. I tend to go on, if you couldn't tell from this post. Finding the blogs of others who visited me was sometimes nerve racking when they used Google+ to comment, but never posted links to their blog in Google+. It baffled me. Also, I found myself visiting more blogs where the blogger replied to comments or visited my blog. There where a few I visited and I didn't feel welcome so I didn't go back again.

But this was my first year. I learned a few things. I learned I was probably at fault for using Google+ to post comments. I would always forget to check boxes giving me the option to sign comments using my name and blogger page. I also discovered I didn't visit many people at first, even when they left comments. I shall endeavour to do better next year. What next year? Yes, I shall be back. I did it this year, and I can do it again next year. Maybe utilizing a few of my blogs. So, in closing, I had lots of fun. So glad for the people I met and I hope we continue to be blogging pals.

Now for a few honourable mentions.
Chrys Fey - I actually found her blog before the whole April challenge started. To be honest, if it were not for her banners posting the challenge, I would never have know about it or participated. Additionally, she stopped by every single day, left comments and replied to all the comments I left on hers. And I have a bad habit of leaving long comments, so props to her for putting up with all my nonsense and Titanic chatter. (Well, at least we didn't die on the Titanic).

Spacerguy - Besides being a Star Trek guy with a great blog, once he found my blog, he stayed through till the letter Z. And that's a challenge, I know. I posted some out of control posts. But that's me. He saw through my spoof posting. In case anyone else missed it, Spatula City is not a real store. It was a humorous parody and the tags listed that. Again, thanks for visiting!

Alex J. Cavanaugh - I guess we all know who this guy is. I was honoured he came, he read, he commented right up till the final letter. How does he do it? His postings each day were such fun. How was he able to find such diversity for each letter every day? I'm just amazed.

Additional visitors stopping by were Roy, Lisa, Jennifer, Tammy, Hilary, Arlee, Bish, Liesel, Stephanie, Kim, Mary,, Stephen, Bob and Hannah. They all stopped by frequently and left comments. I appreciated every single one. I truly wish I had time to go on about how much I loved visiting their blogs.

28 other bloggers also stopped in to say hi as well. In total, 45 people visited and were kind enough to leave a comment. I tried to return to every blog, but as I said above, I think I fell short. I shall rectify that in the next few weeks. A total of 173 comments were left during the month. I know some bloggers receive that in a single day, but coming from my world where receiving five comments a month was about it, it was a big deal.

In closing. I had a lot of fun this month. I found other bloggers I can connect with and believe I found a few more people I can rant away too. I'll see you next year. Or, the next time I stop over to your blog for a visit.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Z is for Zoo

R.a.n.t. of day 04/30/15
Zoos are a fun way to see animals you'd never get a chance to see. Milwaukee has an amazing zoo and you could spend all day in. The Milwaukee County Zoo has such a wide variety of animals to see. Lizards, penguins, bats, llamas, lions, tigers, bears. Oh my, the list could go on and on. The problem with the zoo is it's very expensive to maintain. And understandably so. I can only imagine how much it costs to house and feed a single gorilla or elephant, much less an entire zoo.

Obviously, some of the cost is passed on to visitors. Currently, if you want to visit our zoo, it's $14.25 admission for adults, $11.25 for children and a $12.00 fee for parking. The cost for a small family of four is $63.00. And that's just to walk in the door. Coming from a family with five other siblings living in the same house as them, you can imagine how often my father took us as a family. The number starts with the letter Z.

So as not to be completely negative, I have to give thanks to the zoo because it's a beautiful place and they do provide a select number of free days. One day in each month, October - March, is selected. True, it's the coldest months in Wisconsin, but still, it's provided for free. I've been to the zoo several times, normally when I was in school. I'm much older now, and perhaps I should take advantage of either those free days, or stop being a cheap-skate and get to the zoo to see these wonderful, beautiful creations. And while I'm thinking about it, maybe invite my children. I believe the number of times I've taken them begins with the letter Z too.

Some questions for discussion:
What do you like or dislike about zoos?
What's your favourite animal?
What great attractions do you have where you live?

Can you believe this is the end of the A-Z blogging month?
Thanks go out to each and every one of you who have stopped by my little corner of the worlds this month. Yes, I r.a.n.t. a lot, but I hope I accomplished that with warmth and humour.
See you in the funny papers!

(Vote for the rant that annoys you the most on the right side) ------->

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Y is for Youtube Ads

Welcome to the J.A.Scott blog. We'll get to our r.a.n.t. for the day, but first a word from our sponsor.
Has this ever happened to you? You are running late for the office when suddenly you remember you forgot to cut your banana slices for the day. So now, instead of running to Starbucks for that much needed coffee, you are spending time cutting up your banana. How annoying. Don't you wish this wasn't a problem? Well now you don't have to! With the new banana slicer, you can slice a banana in 2 seconds flat! Order now and we'll throw in this free bunch of bananas. Act now! Supplies are running low. Get yours today!



R.a.n.t. for day of 04/29/15
I think it is safe to say we've all had the experience of trying to watch a youtube video only to get the 'You can skip this ad in five seconds', message. Now, I won't lie, there have been a few times I've actually watched the entire commercial. Usually it's a trailer or a funny ad. But then the ad is displayed again for the next video. Again, another ad comes up. A continual process, ad nauseam.

True, I understand the need to advertise and make money. But that doesn't mean I have to like it, or be happy that I'm getting these annoying pop-ups, displays and banners. Watching the new Star Wars trailer is great. But watching the new Star Wars trailer 15 times in one morning? Not so great. Now you'll have to excuse me. I have my morning banana to slice.

Questions for discussion:
What's the most ridiculous item you've ever seen advertised?
How many Youtube ads do you watch in a single week?
Is there a favourite commercial you actually like to watch?