Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Jeffrey Scott's - Best of the Blog - 2013

Another year has come to a close. And that means it's the time of year I like to review the many things I've creatively crafted. Several of you check out my blog on a regular basis, but I'm certain no one has read or seen everything on my blog. That's where my 'Best Of' comes in handy. It's a chance for me to highlight the best of my blog for the year. At least, the entries I'm particularly fond of. Hope you can find at least one new entry to enjoy.

Additional note: as I prepared this list, I noticed several months went by where I didn't post anything to a specific category. I.e, poem or photography. I think in this coming year, I'd like to try and do at least one post for each of these three items. They seam to be the 'meat' of my blog. Can I do it? Tune in next year to find out.

As always, I appreciate all my followers, friends and family who read and support all I have to offer. Don't forget to comment or 'like' the entries, I LOVE hearing what others think of my hard work and dedication. Please, feel free to 'share' anything I post with anyone you think would enjoy. I'm not shy about sharing my creativity. Gracias, grazie, danke, merci, ta blu, thank you so much, in advance. This buds for you.... wait, I don't drink Budweiser..... well, you know what I mean.

R.a.n.t. - The Evil Book of Face
In this rant, I try to figure out what some people find so offensive about Facebook. Maybe not the funniest Rant I've ever done, but it's got a great kicker cartoon for the photo.
Poem - Posting a Cat
A humourous poem about the number of cat pictures posted to Facebook and other social media.

Rant - Do You Ever Have Déjà Vu?
A 'Ground-Hog Day' themed rant. Didn't I just mention that to you? I don't recall.

Rant - Bed Bugs; Fun For the Whole Family
A game for kids, or my dealings with the Wilderness Resort. Guess which this rant is about?
Photography - Milwaukee's Snow Day
An impressive snowfall resulted in these beautiful photos.

April (National Poetry Month)
Poem - R.A.N.T.
As poetry month began, I couldn't think of a better way to start off than with a poem about ranting.
Poem - Grocery Shopping
A humorous look at grocery shopping. Has this ever happened to you?
Poem - NCC-1701
As Poetry month came to an end, I posted this collection of poems based on every series of Star Trek
Rant - Cooking Vegetables
Most people who know me, know I hate cooking vegetables. This rant explains it more.
Poetry Contest
Tried to host a weekly poetic challenge, received few replies, but I still had fun with it. Weekly contest turned into a monthly contest, and only in April.

Poem - Mending
One way to mend a broken heart.
Rant - Beautiful Trash
Disgusted by the garbage I saw in the local park.

Poem - Burnt Forest
I liken a darkened mood to a burnt forest.
Rant - Preoccupied with 1985
Having some fun with a popular song, I mold it into a rant.
Photography - Milwaukee: Beauty and the Buildings
A photographic set I did of the city overlooking a park.
Pierre & Robert H.W.F. Macelhenny III
Several graduation parties this year resulted in several skits performed by my good friend Conrad and myself. I posted the collection of videos here.

Poem - A Real Boy
A Pinocchio themed poem
Rant - An Anniversary R.a.n.t. Special
Everyone else celebrates anniversaries. So I decided to celebrate my r.a.n.t. anniversary with the help of a few friends.
Photography - Brady Street Signs
I decided to photograph a trendy street in Milwaukee

Poem - Picnic Shopping
A fun poem describing another shopping experience
Rant - Random Rants
Instead of finding something to rant about, I decided to see what other people were ranting about.
Photography - UW-Madison: D.C. Smith Greenhouse
Went to photograph the rare bloom of the Titan Arum

Poem - Chili Food
A Poem about spicy food.
Rant - Out of the Loop
I hate being 'out of the loop', this rant I share a few times I was.

Rant - A Serious Chat on Humour
A transcribed chat I had with a Professor of Humour. I know, I never knew that existed either.

Poem - Success
When a friend moves away, it can be heartbreaking. When it's someone you wish you knew, it's quite another.
Rant - The Worlds 50 Greatest Love Songs - Part 22
What do you think should be included in the list of the greatest love songs of all time? Probably not this one.

Rant - How To Get Free Gas
On Black Friday, I got the best deal of all.

Top 10 Blog Articles of 2013: January - June (According to Web Hits)
1.) 487 - Rant - Health Insurance Meeting
2.) 131 - Poem - Alone
3.) 108 - Rant - Preoccupied with 1985
4.) 98 - Poetry - April Poetry Contest
5.) 84 - Poem - Julian
6.) 79 - Rant - Cajun Style Bacon
7.) 69 - Poem - Safeguard Your Mind
8.) 66 - Poem - Posting a Cat
9.) 65 - Rant - Egg Terrorists
10.) 60 - Photography - Milwaukee's Snow Day

Top 10 Blog Articles of 2013: July - December (According to Web Hits)
1.) 175 - Poem - A Real Boy
2.) 120 - Rant - An Anniversary Rant
3.) 100 - Rant - Random Rants
4.) 98 - Rant - Smoking Is Bad For Your Health
5.) 93 - Rant - Top Secret Rant
6.) 92 - Photography - UW-Madison: D.C. Smith Greenhouse
7.) 89 - Photography - Wisconsin State Fair
8.) 88 - Rant - Becoming the Responsible One
9.) 88 - Photography - Dragon Boat Racing
10.) 81 - Rant - This Place Is Swarming

Sunday, December 29, 2013

My Final Rant!

R.a.n.t. of week 12/29/13
That's right, you read it here. This will be my final rant. There are times one gets tired of working on the same thing over and over again. Just look at the list of things I've complained about this year.

1.) Insomnia
2.) Gas stations
3.) Technology
4.) People with no sense of humour
5.) Making decisions
6.) Ghost-writing
7.) Weird Songs
8.) Learning foreign languages (Part 2)
9.) How to properly be appreciative
10.) Having humility
11.) Being funny
12.) Having secrets
13.) Dining Alone
14.) Fast Talkers
15.) Being out of the loop.
16.) Listening to other people rant
17.) Cheque writing
18.) Being in crowds
19.) Being a good host
20.) Celebrating anniversaries
21.) Smoking
22.) Thieves
23.) Being responsible
24.) Getting egged
25.) Dog poo
26.) Low self-esteem
27.) Shutting people out
28.) Preoccupations
29.) Cold coffee
30.) Trash in parks
31.) Being alone
32.) Living in the city
33.) Cooking vegetables
34.) Teaser stories
35.) The silent treatment
36.) Social media etiquette
37.) Blackened bacon
38.) Cloudy days
39.) Bed bugs
40.) Foreign Languages
41.) Contrasting living conditions
42.) Luke-warm 'hot' tubs
43.) Déjà Vu
44.) Ignoring rules
45.) Facebook
46.) Health insurance meetings
47.) Alarm clocks

With such a list, how could I possibly find anything else to r.a.n.t. about? No, it's time I take a break. It's time to find other projects to work on. The time has come to talk of other things. Shoes and ships and sealing wax, cabbages and kings. And why the sea is boiling hot, and whether pigs have wings. Nah, never mind. Those things are silly, not going to talk about those either. I guess the point is, I'm just not going to rant any more. THIS YEAR. Next year is another story.
El Oh El

Sunday, December 22, 2013


R.a.n.t. of week 12/22/13
It's 2:00 AM and unlike the rest of the city, you are wide awake. The sheep have run off, you are out of warm milk and suddenly you notice how loud the bathroom tap drips. I've had this problem the past few nights. There always seems to be some other reason why I can't fall asleep. Either I've had too much coffee in the day (okay, my own fault), or my back is hurting (I may need a new bed), or there is too much on my mind. Trust me, with two teen-age kids in the house, there is a LOT to worry about. So, what's a person to do? I posed this question earlier today and came up with a few suggestions which I'll post in a bit, but first, you may wonder what ways I have found to combat this sort of malady.

Find something to pass the time. In January of this year, I discussed the benefits of Facebook. Certainly, Facebook isn't for everyone, but it has it's uses when one is bored, or needs to find something tiring to do. Spend a few minutes on one of the Facebook games and you'll be sure to start sawing logs soon enough. Not a fan of playing games online? There is always the option of scrolling Facebook and replying to updates others have left. Or peruse the many photos and articles your friends have shared with everyone.
Click HERE to recall this rant.

Do a bit of studying. March was when I seriously started dedicating myself to learning a foreign language. So lately my evenings have been spend practising reading the Karen Sgaw language which is written in a different script than what most Westerners are used to. By the time I'm done with a full page, I'm yawning and getting restless. Perhaps doing something like learning a foreign language may be the thing to do when you are sitting wide awake early in the morning. At least it's a consideration.
Click HERE to recall this rant.

Facebooking and learning something new not your style? Perhaps you can spend the wee hours preparing grocery lists and making sure you have all items needed for whatever intended recipe you plan to prepare for the week. I just ask one simple favour. How about finding a recipe or two that does not include cooking vegetables? In April I was relating how much I hated onions, really cooking vegetables in general, but most specifically onions. Go on, give it a try. It's early morning, you are battling insomnia, certainly you can be creative enough to devise some type of dish that does not require nasty onions or fungus? If you are unsure how your cooking will be without the use of such items, I'll happily come along and sample for you.
Click HERE to recall this rant.

Sometimes when I'm awake at night I use music to change my mood. Soft music can do wonders for a restless spirit. My particular favourite type of music when trying to fall asleep is soothing jazz, classical, or even light contemporary. The problem with light contemporary, though, at times radio stations play music with a faster beat to it, which really doesn't lull one to sleep. More often, it tends to make a person want to get up and dance. One such song I heard played on a soft rock station on evening in June dealt with the year 1985. True, I've always been pre-occupied with that very year so I took a liking to it. So much in fact, I mocked it in one of my weekly rants. Essentially I took each line of the song and moulding it to fit my own particular lifestyle.
Click HERE to recall this rant.

One of the last things I can suggest is a light snack to help the body along it's journey towards slumber. I'm not talking about running to Taco Bell or throwing a pizza in the oven. After all the fuss of running around outside or in the kitchen, you'll be more likely to keep awake instead of falling back to sleep. Go with something simple, a piece of cheese, a chicken leg, maybe even a balogna sandwich. Something simple and easy you can enjoy all to yourself. Speaking of dining alone, I talked about this very subject back in September. Granted, it was more about dining out alone at restaurants, but I think the point is taken. Sometimes it's good to dine alone, sometimes - not.
Click HERE to recall this rant.

Finally, the last thing I've found to do when I'm wide awake, is utilize the quiet time to get some writing done. Like a few of the suggestions given above, I know this isn't for everyone, but it does work for me and I know a few other people this works for too. Jenni, one of my literary friends, has expressed to me how insomnia is even a blessing for her when she's trying to get an article finished for her magazine. As for Jenni, she came in handy several weeks ago in November when I decided to write a blog article on Ghost-writing. I secretly had her write the intro for my rant of the week, though I revealed it was her writing it, in the next paragraph. So what about you?
Click HERE to recall this rant.

What do you find to do when suffering insomnia? Do you or will you utilize one of the suggestions above? Or maybe you have something else that helps. As mentioned before, here are a few suggestions from what other people this morning said about the topic.

Terry - I've memorized all 66 books of the bible... I go over them in order in my head and that helps.

Courtney - I just got this really good idea for a great story...at 1:57am and has kept me up, now 3:09am.

Mondo - When I start to get some good sleep, a co-worker would start spraying me with water.

Jenni Long - I go over Jeffrey's blog and count all the errors and typos.

Professor Sanee - When I can't sleep, I go out for a drive.

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

Jenni Long is a writer and editor
of the Canadian children's magazine
'Fille Forte'. That being said, her
thoughts do not necessarily reflect
those of myself.

Professor Sanee resides in Italy and
teaches the course 'the Ethics of
Humour' at I.M.A. She's also author of
the book, "Why Isn't Anyone Laughing?"

Sunday, December 15, 2013

How To Get Free Gas

R.a.n.t. of week 12/15/13
Gas prices seem to be lower now than they have in months. But I recently found a sure way to get even cheaper gas. So cheap, in fact, they are practically giving it away. Just follow the 15 easy steps below.

As an additional bonus, my good friend Jenni Long has infused her own comments after I mistakenly showed her this weeks r.a.n.t. while preparing it for publishing. Of course, she doesn't know I have decided to include her smart alec responses. Well, she will NOW!

1.) Visit new gas station.
Jenni Long - It does NOT have to be a new gas station.

2.) Notice credit card reader not working.
JL - NOT a step one takes, it's simply an observation.

3.) Go inside and prepay $10.00 worth of gas. Maybe buy some Ding-Dongs.
JL - We ALL have to do this now, nothing outstanding. And yes, I have already identified the ding-dong.

4.) Go back outside to pump gas.
JL - YAWN, really a step?

5.) Be told you are at a pre-pay pump and need to come inside.
JL - It's NEVER a step when someone else does the action.

6.) Go back inside and show your receipt so they activate the pump.
JL - By my count, this is only the THIRD step.

7.) Have the clerk only release the pump so you can pump gas.
JL - Once again, someone else is.... SIGH, never mind.

8.) Leave gas unattended as you work on windows.
JL - Has nothing to do with the involvement of free gas. Maybe you could COMBINE "steps" eight & nine.

9.) Suddenly notice prepay pump has not stopped and has continued to fill up tank.
JL - Personally, I feel this is YOUR fault.

10.) Worried and upset because you only have $10.00 to spend on gas, reluctantly go inside to pay the difference.
JL - You won't believe I'm going to say this, but I commend you for THIS step.

11.) Explain to the clerk you are inside to pay for the gas that went over your pre-pay selection.
JL - Hopefully you explained you were being inattentive and this is all YOUR fault.

12.) Have clerk stand dumb-struck, scratching her head for a minute trying to figure out what happened.
JL - I give up. Yes, sure. This is a step YOU do.

13.) Have clerk call over manager who only half-understands the problem and quickly voids the transaction when he misunderstands.
JL - And of course you immediately corrected the manager. Right, RIGHT?

14.) Realizing he just voided a live transaction, simply tells you, "Have a good day. Don't worry about the gas overage."
JL - Hmmmmm.

15.) Later in the day, check online bank and despite what the receipt shows, notice they only charged you for the ding-dong purchased. Yep, make sure the Ding Dongs are paid for!
JL - Isn't this kind of DISHONEST? Just asking......?

No Jenni, I don't consider this dishonest. I did everything in my power to pay for the gas. That is everything short of getting on my hands and knees begging the manager to take my money.
But I appreciate your two pence worth.
* Please note, words in ALL CAPS were capitalized by me for emphasis.

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

Jenni Long is a writer and editor
of the Canadian children's magazine
'Fille Forte'. That being said, her
thoughts do not necessarily reflect
those of myself.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

♫ Do You Hear What I Hear ♪

R.a.n.t. of week 12/08/13
♫ It's beginning to sound a lot like Christmas. Every where you go ♫

Yes, no matter where one goes this time of year, we are inundated with the 'sounds of the season'. It doesn't matter where, every gas station, residence, warehouse, farmhouse, hen-house, outhouse and dog house in the area is playing the music non-stop.

Grocery stores are playing Michael Buble's, "I'll Be Home For Christmas", waiting rooms are piping in Bruce Springsteen's, "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" and malls subject every shopper to Diana Krall's "White Christmas". It's great if you love Christmas and Christmas music. But not everyone celebrates, or cares to listen to this same music over and over again. So much so that you unconsciously find yourself humming along.

Additionally, why are these songs so prevalent, especially in stores? To put everyone in the 'holiday spirit', i.e. mood to spend, spend, spend. So there's another reason to dislike it. I know what you are saying, "But Jeffrey, you don't celebrate Christmas or you would love the music". Not necessarily, I know plenty of people who celebrate the holidays and are also tired of hearing these few festive favourites.

At least if you are going to play Christmas music, play something like 'Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer' from Da Yoopers, Bob and Doug's "12 Days of Christmas" or Weird Al's "Christmas at Ground Zero". I still may not like it, but at least I'll have a laugh.

Next Week: How To Get Free Gas

Sunday, December 1, 2013

When Technology Makes Us Dumberer

R.a.n.t. for week 12/01/13
With the advent of newer and more sophisticated technology, people in general seem to become less intelligent. How so? As people use time saving equipment more and more, they tend to rely on their brains less and less. Take for example remembering phone numbers. Back in my day (I swore I'd never say that), I had to remember the phone number of every person I wanted to call. In fact to this day I can recall one of my original house numbers. But now-a-days, there is no need to remember phone numbers, the iPhone will save the number for you. I can even tell Siri to call a specific person, so I don't even need to look for the number, making it less likely I'll remember.

Then we come to Facebook. Oh yea, how everyone either loves or hates Facebook. I've already ranted about that topic HERE so I won't rehash it. How does FB try to dumben us up?  Try reading any posts, especially from the youths. Auto-correct on phones and 'Office' software has insured no one knows how to spell any more. What makes matters worse is the 'cute' Ebonic short-cuts people have adopted.
"wut up dawg"
 "2 B or not 2 B"

As you'll notice in the link above, I do have a FB account and have asked my friends what they thought. One response was how there is a lack of imagination and creativity because of technology. I'll have to agree. I've actually seen my children watch YouTube videos of other people playing video games. Back in my day (did I just say that again) we had to play our own video games, AND they were side scrolling or repetitive. AND WE LIKED IT THAT WAY!!!! Well, you get the point. In a rebuttal, one of my good friends had this to say:
"I have no real use for reference works in a paper format. It's much to cumbersome. Better to have....on my tablet ready for use rather than a few books... No one mourns the passing of scrolls. It will be the same with books. They had their time." He then went on to comment on children. "I think kids are more creative now. Now they have the ability to create models from scratch as 3D renderings on a computer to real world objects.The illustrative powers of Corel and Photoshop make so those of us without the talent to paint can express express ourselves artistically."

My rebuttal to the rebuttal:
I'm not saying all technology is bad, neither am I saying all kids have no imagination or creativity. I also agree that at times, digital is the way to go. But for the most part, I love to have a library with actual books. As for scrolls, if you have any extra you want to get rid of, I'll gladly take them off your hands. Technology gives us the tools to become better artists, writers, designers and the such. I'm just saying that when used incorrectly, it can be a hindrance. Additionally, with the increase of technological advances to bolster creativity, just think how many "great" artists we would not have if today's tech were available several hundred years ago. Van Gogh, Shakespeare or Edgar Allan Poe would likely be unheard of. Unless of course, they produced works on YouTube of people writing poetry or painting pictures.

Next Week: ♫ Do You Hear What I Hear ♪

Sunday, November 24, 2013

People Who Have No Sense of Humour

R.a.n.t. of week 11/24/13
Knock Knock
Who's There?
No one, this is the internet, not a house.

Okay, that was dumb. That was truly stupid. But there are two types of people who just read that. The first type are the ones who rolled their eyes. The second type just scratched their head and said, 'huh'? Either they truly don't understand it, (see blonde joke below), or they understand it, but don't see why it's funny. Let's try another one.

It's going to be a dirty joke this time, so skip ahead if you don't like dirty jokes.
Q: What did the pig listen to while sitting in the pigsty?
A: A ham radio.
Again, that really was dumb. But it's proving my point. Either you rolled your eyes or simply failed to find why it was funny. Especially trying to figure out why I said it was a dirty joke. Which, to be honest, was the real joke. [Dirty = Pigsty]

I have a friend who needs me to explain every time I tell a joke, why it's funny. **cough, Jenni, cough**
"Why was that a dirty joke? You didn't use any bad words, it wasn't vulgar, I don't get it."
Sometimes I think my friend is a Vulcan. "Humour, it is a difficult concept." - Saavik.

Admittedly, I probably joke around too much. Usually it's to aggravate someone after they've made a typo or a funny sounding post. I certainly think I'm being funny, not sure about anyone else.
P.S. - "Why does everything at Starbucks take the same"
Me - "Take the same what???"
P.S. - "Kayra's going to drive through Indiana."
Me - "I didn't know Indiana had a drive-thru."
Usually I'll get a response similar to: "You know what I meant". Of course I know what they meant, but didn't think commenting on what they actually meant would have been funny.

"Any joke that needs explaining, isn't a funny joke." That may be true, but there are a few people who just don't get the joke, either because they are too literal or have no sense of humour. Here's a blonde joke I tell frequently that gets a lot of laughs.
A blonde is putting together a puzzle when she finally gets frustrated and calls her father.
Blonde "Dad, I need help, I can't even match the corners."
Dad "What's the puzzle? What's the picture on the box?"
Blonde "It's a picture of a tiger."
Dad "Okay I"ll be right there."
Upon walking into the room, he takes one look at the puzzle and says,
Dad "I have two things to say to you. One, this isn't a puzzle. Two, let me help you put those frosted flakes back in the box."

I've told this joke a few times and usually people laugh, but I've had a few people wonder, "Why was she trying to put together a box of cereal?" Because she's blonde. The joke really isn't that hard to figure out, and you must admit, you must have laughed, even a little (or chuckled, giggled or snorted). Or maybe you just have no sense of humour.

Speaking of being blonde, join me next week when I discuss 'When Technology Makes us Dumberer."

Tune in next week. Same bat-time, same bat-channel.
P.S. - "In case anyone thinks I've forgotten, here is the line I told you I was going to write last week."

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Decisions, Decisions

R.a.n.t. of week 11/17/13
Paragraph One:
If there is one thing I hate, it's having to decide between two options. Especially when both options are equally pleasing. How does one decide? For me, it's usually the option that was available first and already decided upon. But at times, when things are additionally presented, it makes the original decision challenging to stick with.

If there is one thing I love, it's getting to decide between two options. Especially when both options are equally pleasing. More options to choose from is a big plus. Still, when an extra option is suddenly made available to me, I feel like a jerk if I don't go with the first option I had already decided upon.

Paragraph Two:
I had just such a quandary this weekend. Initially I planned with my son for a weekend get-away. The plans were still in flux but already presented. Several years ago, we spent the night in Chicago and I was considering doing the same thing. Ultimately, I decided to travel to the relatively close city of Woodstock, which is the city where most of 'Groundhog Day' was filmed. If you know anything about me, you'll know I absolutely love the movie. Of course, I was then invited over to a friends house for games and dinner with other friends. Tempting, temping.

I had just such a quandary this weekend. Initially I made plans with a friend of mine for a Sunday evening of DVD watching. Lately we've been rewatching episodes of either 'Doctor Who' or 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine'. To be honest, it's been many weeks since we've done this last so it was going to be a real treat to do once again. And then came an offer to join a few friends for a 5:00 dinner. To be honest, this is the first time I've been invited out by this particular group of friends so I was going to hate having to tell them no. Decisions, decisions.

Paragraph Three:
To a small degree, I always have this exact problem when trying to decide the topic of my next r.a.n.t. Should I find something I've talked about before and find a new angle to tell it again? Or should I find something completely new? To combat this, in a Jeffrey Scott first, I'm actually going to decide next weeks r.a.n.t., this week. So what will be the discussion for next week? People Who Have no Sense of Humour. Join me again next week, when you'll hear me say, "In case anyone thinks I've forgotten, here is the line I told you I was going to write last week."

To a large degree, when trying to decide the topic of my next r.a.n.t. I have this exact problem. I hate rehashing older topics and prefer to find something new each week. So to eliminate this dilemma for next week, I have a BIG ANNOUNCEMENT! In a Jeffrey Scott first, I'm going to decide my next r.a.n.t., this week. So what will it be? When Technology Makes us Dumberer. Tune in next week. Same bat-time, same bat-channel.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Ghost Writing

R.a.n.t. of week 11/10/13
As many of you know, I'm a very busy man. When I'm not working on some sort of literary piece, be it prose or poem, I'm likely engaged in one of my many other interests. Currently, this list includes learning the Sgaw language, photography, watching Doctor Who, and complaining about the weather (gratuitous joke). Mix all that together with my regular daily regimen, and I suddenly become overwhelmed. What's a poor slob like myself supposed to do? The same thing any sub-par, hack writer does, hire a ghost-writer. I'd like to assume everyone knows what a ghost-writer is, but for the laymen, I'll explain. A ghost-writer is someone whom writes for another person and generally does not get credit. But today, having nothing better to do, I decided to write about a ghost-writer I've used in the past. Her name is Jenni Long and she's the most talented and influential writer I know. She's currently employed by a well known local newspaper which shall, for the time being, remain nameless.

Okay, confession time. The paragraph above was actually written by my ghost-writer. I thought today it would be interesting if I introduced her, but turn the tables slightly. One reason I did this was to provide an example of what a ghost-writer can actually do. So today I asked if she would ghost-write a short simple paragraph of myself introducing her. Besides a few things I normally would have changed, I doubt anyone would have figured out it was being written by someone else. So what else has she written for me? All I'm prepared to say at the moment is she helped out on my anniversary blog post and has written one more of my entries since then. But I won't say which one, see if you can figure it out. So why the ghost-writer? Jenni's explanation wasn't entirely accurate. To be honest, it was a week we both were involved with a blog exchange. So I actually ghost-wrote for her on one of her online articles. How cool is that?

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

Jenni Long is a writer and editor
of the Canadian children's magazine
'Fille Forte'. That being said, her
thoughts do not necessarily reflect
those of myself.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Worlds 50 Greatest Love Songs - Part 22

R.a.n.t. of week 11/03/13
Welcome back to "Musical Countdown", I'm your host Charles Winthrop. The past two months we've been counting down 'The Worlds 50 Greatest Love Songs'. Last week we reviewed the French song, "J'aime ma Femme" by Pierre Rousseau at #30. This week we are up to #29, "I Love a Rainy Night" by Eddie Rabbit. As with most songs, it's got majestic and profound opening lyrics. Take a listen...

Well I love a rainy night
I love a rainy night
I love to hear the thunder
Watch the lightning
When it lights up the sky
You know it makes me feel good

Hmmm, in retrospect, I suppose I should have done a little research before doing the intro for this song. I guess not every song jumps right into the passion. My thinking, of course, the rain must be symbolic of his true, natural, tender feelings towards his hearts desire. He'll likely start identifying thusly, in the next stanza.

Well I love a rainy night
It's such a beautiful sight
I love to feel the rain
on my face
taste the rain on my lips.
In the moonlight shadow

No. Didn't happen. I was thinking the singer would tie the first stanza of his love song to the true object of his affection in the second. Certainly the song isn't just about a rainy night. How would that be a love song? Good news is, the chorus is next. A chorus generally links all the emotions and feelings found throughout the song into a neat little package.

Showers washed
All my cares away
I'd wake up to a sunny day
'Cause I love a rainy night
Yes I love a rainy night
Well I love a rainy night
I love a rainy night

This song is doing my head in. So far he's expressed love for a rainy night, thunder, feeling the rain on his skin and then more rainy nights. The producers must have erred when including this song. We were looking for the worlds greatest love songs - primarily between a man and a woman, not between a man and a rainy night. Well, we started this, might as well listen how he finishes his rainy night love affair.

I love a rainy night
You can see it in my eyes
I love a rainy night
Makes me high
Well, I love a rainy night
And I love you too

Ahh, his eyes are delighted by the image of his beautiful maiden. Wait, NO! You can see in his eyes he LOVES the rainy night again. So much so it gives him a natural high. And then he reminds us yet again. And then, finally, at the very end of the song he tells his cherished, essentially, "Oh and you are ok too". What folly, what ludicrous sentiment. Who compiled this list? Get Murphy on the phone, and my manager!

Well, that's all the time we have this week for 'The Worlds 50 Greatest Love Songs'. Join us next week as we move on to #28,  "Ich liebe mein bier" by Otto Wolter. I may have to translate these lyrics before we air next week.

This transcribed excerpt used with permission.

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

Charles Winthrop is a Washington
state writer and D.J. His interests
include music (both modern and
classical) and is a fine art connoisseur.
His articles have appeared in various
magazines including, 'Art Beautiful',
'Music of the Renaissance', and 'The Walla Walla Whistler'.


Somewhere not so far away
her skills are fine and true.
Adored and loved so ever more
Who'll bid the fair adieu?

The writer writes a silent word
then ponders just a scant.

You cannot rest, so off you go,
success is guaranteed.
Why stay upon a single place
when others have your need?

A versifier, lonely and hushed,
he pens his farewell thoughts.

Who, soever can fill the void,
a replacement hard to find.
Still all will cheer for her away
to which she's been assigned.

And quietly sits the poet,
there's much poetry to write.


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Learning a Foreign Language

R.a.n.t. of week 10/27/13
Learning a foreign language is something I've always wanted to do. As far back as High School, I wanted to learn German. (Another RANT that discussed this can be found: HERE) The problem with trying to learn a language no one around you speaks, is it's hard to stick to and be dedicate to. So learning German outside of school didn't last long. Truth be told, it didn't last much while I was still in school. However, lately I've been attempting another language, this time there are others around me who also speak the language. So I automatically have a plus when it comes to learning it. An additional advantage is learning the language for a good reason. Had I learned German, it would have been neat to know, but there would have been no real call for it. This time, as I learn the foreign language, I can hopefully use what I have learned to help teach others the bible. Those who truly know me, know how important this is to me. But this wouldn't be a proper r.a.n.t. without something to complain about, would it?

Unlike German, the 'Karen' language I'm learning has it's own characters. So before I could even begin to start learning the language, I had to learn to read the characters. But that isn't even the hard part. The hard part has come after that. As you will have noticed, I'm a writer and I love to write. As a writer, I am fairly adept at the English language and have many, many words at my disposal. Depending on how I want to write something, I can vary the words I utilize to give different connotations. What does that have to do with anything? Well, learning a new language is a very humbling experience. (See last weeks r.a.n.t. on how humble I claim to be). Essentially, I'm starting from scratch and anything I want to say in the language is very simple. As I strive to learn, I know I will stumble, I will say silly things, I will be corrected or criticized, I will get frustrated, I may even get teased. But no one said learning a language was going to be easy. That's all good though, you can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Appreciation and Humility

R.a.n.t. of week 10/20/13
Sometimes I wonder what the proper decorum is for showing appreciation. We live in a day and age where we can not only thank the individual(s), but announce how thankful we are to all our friends. And yet, is it proper to broadcast our appreciation? Is it embarrassing or rude? Thoughtful or fun? Right or proper? The best way I've ever used to determine how someone else might feel is to judge how I'd feel if the situation were reversed. If I did something nice for you, how would I feel if you informed others? Well, go ahead. Feel free to tell the world. Humble? Of course I'm humble. Why do you ask? I'm probably the humblest person I know. In fact, I've won awards for how humble I am, and I proudly display them in my home. Well, maybe that's the problem. Am I not as humble as I really ought to be, and it's just that others are more so? Realizing this has been a very humbling experience for me. Just make sure you note, I always strive to do the least amount of things that irritates others (besides jokes of course). Especially if I feel it would hurt their feelings. So when I do do something that has irritated others, I feel bad. No matter how hard I try to not wrong someone or do something upsetting to them, I still inadvertently do so. So, what's your stand on public apologies? Maybe that can be the topic for next week.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

A Serious Chat on Humour

R.a.n.t. of week 10/06/13
Time heals all wounds.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Laughter is the best medicine.

Of these three time honoured medical sayings, which do you think is the most important to me? If you say the prevention one, you don't know me very well. If you say the time healing one, you are getting closer. It's time related and I love a good science fiction story. But today I'll be looking at the laughter one. Why? Because if you know me, even a little, you'll know what a comedian I try to be. In essence, to lighten a darker mood. But this week, I won't be doing it alone. In a 'Jeffrey Scott' blog first, I've sought the help of a well known and respected Professor. Professor Sanee is from Italy and teaches a course in 'the Ethics of Humour' at I.M.A. and is author of the best selling book, "Why Isn't Anyone Laughing?"

Below is the transcript from my Skype chat with Professor Sanee:

JS - Professor Sanee, thank you for joining me today. I appreciate you taking time out of your busy schedule to help discuss this urgent and vital manner.
[I used air quotes when saying urgent and vital.]

Professor Sanee - Hello? Is this thing on? Hello? Can you hear me?

JS - I can hear you. Can you hear me?

Professor Sanee - Hello? What's going on? I can see you, but I can't hear you.

JS - Do you have it on mute? [Duh, why did I just ask that. She probably can't even hear me.]* Press the mute button, you have probably have the computer on mute.
* - Admittedly, I could have deleted this bit from the conversation. But decided to keep it in as the completest that I am.

Professor Sanee - What? Are you trying to tell me something?

JS - Look at the keyboard. Look where I'm pointing. On your keyboard. Look for a mute button. Do you have one? Do you even know what I'm saying?

Professor Sanee - I'm going to press a few buttons at random and see what happens.....
Oh! I can hear you now. I had this on mute. Silly me.

JS - Oddly enough, sort of a funny way to open up the subject matter at hand.

Professor Sanee - Thank you for seeking my help Doctor Scott. You did say you were a Doctor, correct? Anyway, I'm honoured you have sought me out. So let's get cracking. Time is money.

JS - Professionally stated. So Professor, you are known for promoting humour as a 'cure' of sorts. So the first question is: They say laughter is the best medicine. Is this what you believe this?

Professor Sanee - Laughter can sometimes soften the hardest blows life whacks you with, but is it the "best medicine"? No. I don’t think so. Just ask your neighbourhood therapist about this. Their recommendation is Zanax... pink or white. Take your pick. I’ve tried both remedies, the pills I mean. But before you pay me, let me ask you. Do you find the best medicine is humour and if so what kind would you prescribe?

JS - Pay? Eh, never mind. We'll get back to that. However, I see your point that laughter truly 'isn't' the BEST medicine. But like you say. It softens the blow. Certainly for the joker if not for anyone else. But keeping that in mind do you feel it's important to have a sense of humour? Why?

Professor Sanee - Yes, humour in the sense of the word means to be in an amusing state of mind, unless of course you are out of humour, in a bad mood. Then, nothing is humorous. A person, however, with a good sense of humour creates it. That person has the ability to sense when something is funny and react, unless of course you have a dry sense of humour, which requires a trip to your local off-license shop. Which reminds me.......
[Professor Sanee disappears for a minute and returns with a glass of wine]
So my counter question to you is, do you think it is sensible to have a sense of humour and why?

JS - Do you mean in the medical field, or in general?

Professor Sanee - General Who? This isn't a military debate. Kidding, yes of course. I mean in general.

JS - Oh, you had me there for a second. Odd to be on the other end of that. But I can laugh at that because I thought it was funny. I see what you did there. As you said, you saw an opportunity to be funny and you used it. Yes, of course having a sense of humour is essential. The way I see it. If you can't laugh at yourself, someone else will.
[Professor Sanee laughs]
If you can laugh at yourself, things don't seem to trouble you as much. If a newspaper is delivered to my house and it lands in a puddle of water. Will I be mad? Probably. But I can then grumble and complain about the idiot paper-boy or joke about what a good aim he is. Sometimes it's all a matter of perspective. But some times people feel those of us who like to joke, take things too far. I've always thought that, to some degree, about practical jokes. What are your thoughts on practical jokes?

Professor Sanee - I can see the word practical used in a sentence such as, 'I needed a practical hairstyle for work.' or 'I need a practical car to get me there,' but find no logic in the usage of the word practical when it comes to joking. Is it practical to scare the living bahgeebees out people? The victim of a practical joke never sees it coming. The impractical person plotting a practical joke seems incapable of making a sensible decision when plotting and planning to carry their victory. So in answer to your question and for all practical purposes, I don’t find this practical at all. Do you think you can come up with a practical solution to this problem Dr. Scott? I don’t think so.

JS - I actually think there is some validity to practical jokes. The problem is, there is a line that shouldn't be crossed. And maybe that's why you don't like practical jokes. So at what point do you think a practical joke has crossed the line, and can you possibly see one being acceptable?

Professor Sanee - Coming up with firm guidelines over what is acceptable, or what crossed the line is a question that the Masters have pondered over for centuries. Like yourself, Dr. Scott, I’m sure you have spent sleepless hours meditating on this very subject. A simple direct answer to your question cannot be calculated immediately. First, one needs to be presented with the practical joke. Scientifically I would need to examine it very carefully. When I begin to connect my thoughts to the mind of the joker I could only then conclude whether the practicality of the joke was either to cause fear, fright or humour. This argument is still out for debate. However, after years of research on this subject I must conclude that line crossers have the inability to be unimaginative and do things that are totally annoying. I think it is perfectly legal to smack line crossers because they are dumb, stupid, and immature.

JS - I guess you've probably answered my next question then. Obviously the answer is no.

Professor Sanee - What was the question?

JS - Have you ever played a practical joke on someone?

Professor Sanee - Yes, believe it or not, I have. I played dead once. The family went hysterical. They got angry when I told them I really wasn’t dead. I learned a lesson that day that it was more practical to stick around and have them all laughing to their graves. But since you seem to enjoy practical jokes so much, let me ask you. Has anyone ever played a practical joke on you? Was it funny? How did you feel?

JS - Yes, practical jokes have been played on me from time to time. I think playing dead is more of a practical joke where a line has been crossed. Mostly because it's playing with a persons deep emotions. But I've had jokes played on me at various times. I recall when I was younger a friend gave me a piece of hard candy which I really enjoyed until a few layers were sucked off and found the middle was fish flavoured. Holy Mackerel! That was awful. I spit it out right then and there and ran for the drinking fountain. I had the nasty taste of fish in my mouth for hours. Another time I was on a road trip and had fallen asleep. At some point during my slumber, one of my friends thought it would be a good idea to pretend we were getting into an accident and started screaming. I was really offended with him for that. To be honest, I was offended at the offenders in each joke. But the point is, I was only upset for a bit and anger wears away to humour if you indeed have a good sense of humour. I look back on those jokes now with fondness and laugh. In neither instance were they trying to physically or emotionally scar me for life. It was a joke, and ultimately I took it as such. Hmmmm, I hadn't thought about either incident for a long time.

Sanee - I think we've made a break through here.

JS - Wait, have you been trying to psychoanalyse me?

Sanee - It's all a part of the session you ordered. Now where do I send the bill?

Unfortunately, the Skype chat unexpectedly terminated. I guess the joke was on Professor Sanee.

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

Professor Sanee resides in Italy
and teaches the course 'the
Ethics of Humour' at I.M.A.
She's also author of the book,
"Why Isn't Anyone Laughing?"

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Top Secret R.A.N.T.

R.a.n.t. of week 09/29/13
This weekend I was dealing with a lot of stress. But that's my life lately. Some of the things I've been dealing with are pretty personal, so personal, I'm not sure I want to share it all on an open blog. So today I'm trying something a little different. I'm writing a very personal blog entry, including a LOT of details about what and why I've been so depressed and why I feel selfish and moronic at the same time. The catch is, you'll have to sign in to access this file. The personal r.a.n.t. can be reached at this web link: Secret File

Now the trick is, I want to use a password that's not difficult for anyone to remember that would like to check it out. My very first password was something like '1234'. I'll give that a try for this special page.

Error: Password must be a minimum of 8 characters.

I also happened to notice it threw in this additional note: Maximum of 20 characters.
I suppose this is to prevent people from using: thisismysecretpassword
Now I have to think of another password for my secret file since I can't use 1234 or thisismysecretpassword
Let's try: 1234 password

Error: Cannot contain spaces

Okay, I'll correct it. How about: 1234password

Error: Cannot start with a number.

Really, starting to get upset here! Try this! LOL: passwordssuck

Error: No more than 4 of the same character.

Blimey! It doesn't like me using 4 S's in the password. Starting to think the program is messing with me. I'll just use the previous one I used for this special page: password

Error: Cannot reuse the past 10 passwords.

Fine! Whatever, something everyone will remember. The password will be the same as the login, my blog name: jeffreyascott

Error: Must not contain the user name.

Usually passwords are case sensitive, so I'll just use the same password, but in all caps. hehe, that'll beat the system: PASSWORD

Error: Must contain at least one upper case and one lower case.

This is really getting ridiculous. How about: Password

Error: Must contain at least one numerical character.

For the love of blog! Really? Replace the 'o' (oh) with a '0' (zero): Passw0rd

Error: Must contain at least one non-alpha numeric character (special characters (!@#$%^&)

You mean like: Passw0rd!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Error: Maximum of 20 characters.
Error: No more than 4 of the same character.

Please note: NEVER write your password down. NEVER use a password someone else would guess. NEVER reuse previous passwords. ALWAYS change your passwords frequently.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Day Will Come

The day will come
we all are young,
we will not die
from older age.

We will be happy,
full of joy.
No longer deal
with acts of rage.

The day will come
we will not cry,
or mourn a loved one
asleep in death.

The former things
will have passed away.
No sickness, pain
or troubled breath.

The day will come
I'll smile again.
The day will come,
but not today.


Sunday, September 22, 2013

Dining Alone

R.a.n.t. of week 09/22/13
It's time for din-din and the cupboard is bare. Sure, you could just run out to go grocery shopping, then come home and prepare a mediocre dinner. But who has time for all that? Okay, maybe everyone beyond me, but by the time I get home from work it's about 5:30 or 6:00. Usually, I'm very tired and making dinner is not something I'd rather do when I'm tired. So what's a guy to do? Eating out is the obvious next option. If you are like me, eating fast food won't do the trick. Everything seems to be made with Grade F meat (Mostly circus animals with some filler). So something above fast food is the place to be. For most people, it's not a problem, but for someone like me who has a healthy dose of social anxiety, it's not always easy. I just feel kind of funny dining along, even though many friends and family tell me there is nothing wrong with it. (Oh my gosh, Jeff was dining alone last night! Not that there is anything wrong with that). So what are the pros and cons when it come to dining alone? Yes, I forced myself to think of a few pros and cons for when I have to dine alone.

Deciding Alone:
Pro - No committee meeting, long debates or haggling over where to go.
Con - No one to bounce ides off of. No influx of immediate suggestions. I'm a person who is very unoriginal when it comes to thinking of somewhere to eat. Can't even count the number of times I've heard one of my sisters tell me about a new place they've tried and I just scratch my head trying to figure out where they hear about some of the restaurants they've been too. Usually, I'll just resort to going somewhere I've been many times before. As hinted at, I get very anxious about finding a new place and entering, not knowing what to expect.

Sitting Alone:
Pro - A good time to be one with your thoughts, or Iphone.
Con - I always feel like I'm being looked at and judged. "He's dining alone, he must have no friends", "I feel bad for him, he's got no wife or girlfriend", "How sad is that, how pitiful, he's such a nobody". Okay, maybe unrealistic thoughts, but in my own mind I hear those slung in my direction. I told you, I have social anxiety and that's part of it.

Waiting Alone:
Pro - No having to wait for others to finish eating? When I'm done, I can just leave. (Once my bill is paid).
Con - Sitting alone and waiting as my bill is brought to me and/or processed. By the time my food has been consumed, I'm just about done with my thoughts. Mostly because I generally bring a notebook along with me to take notes in, especially when my thoughts are centred towards what I'm going to be writing or r.a.n.t.ing about next.

This past week I made plans with one of my friends to visit another friend who just started a job in a restaurant. As always, (I say always, I mean in this case), plans fell through. Instead of deciding to not go, because it was something I was looking forward to, I opted to go outside my comfort zone and 'just do it'. Confidentially, it kind of helped I was hoping to have a bad experience so I would have an awesome r.a.n.t. tale to tell, but it didn't quite turn out that way. Certainly, no horror story. And I can't say it wasn't worth writing home about, because after all, I just finished writing about it. So it can be done! I can dine alone. I'm just not very happy with it.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Fast Talkers

R.a.n.t. of week 09/15/13
Auctioneers - One of my "guilty pleasure" type shows is called 'Storage Wars'. It's about a group of people who visit storage lockers that are being auctioned off because the owner of locker has defaulted in payments or abandoned. Let's just gloss over that many claim the show is rigged and some of the 'hidden treasures' are planted by the producers. To be honest, I could care less, the show is entertaining. Barry is hysterical, Brandi is gorgeous, Darrell kind of reminds me of one of my obnoxious yet best friends, and Dave is..... well no longer with the show. Am I okay with that? Yuuuuuuup!!!!!!!!!! Finally we have Dan and Laura Dotson - (Dotson, Dotson, we have Dotson here!); the auctioneers. One thing I've never fully understood was auctioneer speech. What's with the high speed talk? Is it really necessary? Okay, so you want to move things along, but does the high speed linguistics truly help? For the most part, no one understands a word being said until the auctioneer calls out a raise in price or the end of the auction. "bla bla bla bla bla 45 dollars bla bla bla do I hear 50? 50, 50 bla bla bla 50. Going once, going twice, SOLD for 45 dollars!

Jimmy John's - Anyone with one of these restaurants in their area has likely heard one of the commercials on the radio. Usually it involves a couple of the employees discussing how fast they truly are. As implied in the commercials, they are freaky fast! I recall one of the first times I went into a Jimmy John's, employees were throwing bread and wrapped sandwiches around in a frenzy, seemingly moving at freaky fast speeds. I almost wonder how many breads fell to the floor and were simply dusted off and reused. So does speaking fast, mean you can make a fast sandwich? Certainly a question I'll have to ask Dan Dotson if I ever meet him. But I think I know the answer to that, especially after my last drive-thru experience. Having ordered a sub, I waited twelve minutes for my sandwich. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE their sandwiches, but that was freaky slow. Unless of course they just ordered my sub from another location and it only took 12 minutes to bring that sub to this location. Now that would be freaky! Come to think of it, it WAS a Friday.

Commercials - Not much to say about this besides how much I hate when commercials do this. Usually it's a radio commercial because TV just shows the unreadable fine print. A radio commercial doesn't have that luxury so it spends 20 seconds of a 30 second spot claiming how wonderful their new and fantastic offer is, then ten seconds quickly letting everyone know what is exempt from this wonderfully, fantastic offer. By the time the commercial is done, you've forgotten what the offer is and you now have a headache trying to either listen to and/or understand what that buzzing display of wording was.

Phone Messages - Probably my least liked fast talker is the yahoo's who leave phone messages. Particularrly the ones who gab on for two long minutes, then as they leave a contact number it's "Fo-one-fo-fi-fi-five-si-oh-thr-two. Call me back". Then comes a dial tone and me saying "Okay, I got 414." Then I realize I have to listen to the entire two minute slow, painful oral drivel once or twice more. Depending on how quickly I can decipher the jumble of numbers thrown at me. Don't throw things at me, seriously. There's a reason I don't play sports very often.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Slowly Dying

wash all over me.
Oh darkness,
cover me up.

May the silence
ever deafen me,
and all emptiness
fill my heart.

I feel the pain
grow inside,
as the numbness
settles in.

You stabbed me
yet are unaware.
I slowly die,
you walk away.

how I treasure you,
the evening darkness
I do prize.


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Chili Food

When eating food, it must be spicy.
Though my ulcer thinks it's dicey.
I ignore the threat, so turn up the heat!
It's quite an adventure when I eat.
If made from chillies, I will crave.
My ulcer thinks I'm very brave.


Sunday, September 8, 2013

Out Of The Loop

R.a.n.t. of week 09/08/13
One of the things I hate most is being out of the loop. I always seem to be the last one thought of and reached to be told important information. For years I've had to battle with this, a lack of communication on other peoples end. Not saying I've never had a 'duh' moment, failing to hear or understand what someone has said to me. I think anyone that knows me, knows I'm very perceptive. This lack of communication on the part of others has most definitely honed my perceptive powers by having me figure things out from clues other people have said or done. Yes, probably that and watching the Mentalist.

There is a joke I have with one of my closest friends which stems from an experience where I learned my father was getting remarried from a third party. The conversation went something like this:
Bill: "So I hear your father is getting married."
Me: "He is?"

Other awkward moments from my past. Firstly, one that generally transpires at work.
Me: "I'm heading out for lunch."
Boss: "I've got a meeting in ten minutes, I'll need you to stick around. Hope you brought a lunch."
Me: "No, no I didn't.

The ex-wife.
Me: "What would you like for our anniversary?"
EW: "I want a divorce."

The Good Humour Man.
Me: "I'll have the peanut buster parfait."
GHM: "Sorry kid, we don't have peanuts any more. People are allergic to them."
Me: "But I had one just last week, why didn't you say you were eliminating them?"
GHM: "I sell ice cream kid, what do you want from me?"
Me: "A peanut buster parfait."

All jokes (en fait, half-jokes) aside, I'm still plagued by this predicament to this day. Usually, I'm finding information about my kids from third sources (because the ex isn't telling me anything). Or when I'm trying to do research, there is a spattering of information available, but I still have to rely on other people to help out. (Another story and r.a.n.t. for another time). Essentially, I feel I have to bug people to get information I would personally like, and I'm getting tired of bugging people. I hate being an annoyance to others. Once again, I must rely on my detective skills to fill in the gaps. Did I ever mention my sister and I always wanted to become P.I.'s? You know what they say, knowledge is power. Or so School House Rock used to teach me.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Random Rants

R.a.n.t. of week 08/25/13
Now that my anniversary has passed, I began wondering if other people have a tendency to r.a.n.t. as much as I do. So this week I decided to switch on the twitter machine and see what twitterers have been r.a.n.t.ing about for the past few months. Would I find anything? You better believe it! I'm happy to report I found a cache of rant fodder to do my job for me this week. Honestly, don't we all feel better when we are ranting about something we have no control over? So without further ado, I'll let twitter take it away. Included below each rant are a few of my own personal thoughts or replies on each topic.

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

Mike Panic
attn n00b photographers. plz focus on making photographs, not on how to throw giant watermarks across the middle of mediocre snapshots.
>I tried the whole watermark thing for awhile. Seemed to be more trouble than it was worth, and I never truly felt my photos were so spectacular I needed to watermark them. 

Sophie Lomax
Girls I don't care how skinny you think you look. Stop wearing leggings as jeans!!! Wear a long top for gods sake!
>I agree, and while we are giving fashion tips, can we also suggest guys stop wearing sagging pants? No one wants to see your underpants.

Nomadic Matt
I think the TSA should have 2 lines: one for frequent fliers who know what they are doing and one for everyone else.
>As a fellow traveller, I couldn't agree more. Can we do the same thing at grocery speed zones as well?

Southern Girl
You only need to avoid gluten if your body cannot digest it. It's not some trendy diet. It doesn't make you sound cool. Just stop!
>My favourite game is to walk into Trader Joe's and as for the whole wheat gluten free bread.

Chris Fore
Why can't people just be responsible for themselves anymore these days?! It's ALWAYS somebody else's fault. Pisses me off.
>It's called the blame game. The one game where everyone loses and nobody wins. But we all play it.

Danniella Westbrook
People who try & add people they don't know on fb, cos they've seen em on a mates friend list.. Is weird & worrying.
>I get requests from people who aren't even friends of my friends. Well, I only have so many FB friends, but it's still weird.

Kennady Nance
Stop acting like your parents are the worst people ever and they're ruining your life. Imagine your life without them.
>Can you come talk to my kids for me?

Kim Brown
"You look tired." - Drives me NUTS to hear that, esp. when I'm not tired. Might as well say, "Ya look like crap. Have a good one!"
>At least they didn't say you look dazed and confused. I hate when my friends say that about me.

Scott Smith
I hate when people steal my tweets and use them without my permission.
>Smile! You're on Candid Camera!

Amanda White
When I get to a country, I land, then I wander around and see whats happening! Don't do it via a book! Get amongst it people!
>I agree, I love walking around and getting lost in the crowds. If you follow the books, you are just going to see what every other tourist sees. So much more fun to find the hidden gems.

Jakie Manevski
I don't understand how nice, selfless people ALWAYS end up being stepped all over by friends.
>Because if you weren't nice, you wouldn't allow yourself to be stepped on.

Some people on House Hunter are soooo annoying! Quick being so picky, you have unrealistic standards for the budget you're rockin
>Word on the street is the people on this show already own the house in question. So what are they really complaining about? It must be all for show.

Rose Garcia
Dummies. Lots of them exist. Its rather annoying.....
>That's why there are a lot of 'dummies' books. So, probably not annoying to the writers of that book series.

Bailey McBroom
It makes me mad when people try to talk louder to deaf people. They're deaf. That's not going to help.
>I've seen the same thing happen when someone is trying to converse with one who speaks another language. Years ago, I knew this lady visiting from Japan and her English was limited, but not vacant. Another friend would always speak louder and enunciated every word. Shiako once asked me if there was something wrong with Anna.

Rozanne Stevens
Unless it's for charity, if I give up my weekend to work at YOUR event at my own expense, please have the courtesy to say thank you
>Thank you. For allowing me to steal your tweet.

I love when how people who don't say hello or whatever suddenly come to you when they need help and forget you afterwards
>I call that being a convenient friend. I'm a friend when it's convenient for them.

Greek Gent
don't say "I'm OCD". That doesn't make sense. You're Obsessive Compulsive Disorder? That phrase is an oxymoron in itself.
>Reminds me of Michael Scott's quote, "I need this ASAP as possible."

Chloe Driver
Scrolling through my feed to see complaints about heat, ye begged for it all year so be grateful
>And there will be those demanding snow, only to complain about it once it arrives.

Some girls really don't deserve to be as pretty as they are. They should make all the genuine nice people the prettiest people. Okay
>It's what's inside that counts. Prettiness tends to lead to vanity for some reason.

Aimee Willmott
Have not watched any other Britain's got talent shows other than tonight's final but sorry they ain't British!
>Same thing happens on America's Got Talent. "Hi I'm from Russia". Then maybe you should appear on Russia's Got Talent.

Tim Peers
Seems to be the same people day after day going to the beach... None of you got jobs..?!
>Just curious, are you reporting from the beach?

Monday, August 19, 2013

Wisconsin State Fair - 2013

You just never know who you are going to run into at the Wisconsin State Fair.
His name was Rock-It, a pretty cool moving 'robot'.

An interesting cake on display. Always fun to check out the award winning projects.

How could I have a State Fair set without something new 'on a stick'.

The claw game! Actually, I think this was used to move bails of hey for the animals.

To get a birds eye view of the fair, they sky carts are a must!
It's also fun to drop dollar bills to the crown below and watch kids scramble for the money.

Designate a driver at the Wisconsin State Fair? Do they know they are in Wisconsin?
Just kidding. Be safe, but stay thirsty my friends!

I always like to try something new. This time I decided to try Kangaroo and Alligator Jerky.

Something new I didn't try was bug infused candy. Yes, real bugs were used in the making of these candies.

These were my highlights of the fair. What's your favourite part?

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Cheque Please!

R.a.n.t. of week 08/18/13
Sometimes you just have to write a cheque. There is no way around it. In this day and age, it's usually when you are paying rent or bills. I don't really have a problem writing cheques, it's not a big deal for me. I'm a person that likes to pay bills online, so my need for cheque writing has certainly diminished over time. Still, there are a few times when I HAVE to write a cheque. Is that worth r.a.n.t.ing about on it's own? No of course not. It's a minor necessity I've learned to live with. The thorn in my side this time takes place when a cheque I've written is not cashed within a certain amount of time. Now for the record, I keep my finances in order. In fact I do so on a daily basis. But to have a cheque sitting around, not cashed for several weeks really bothers me. Even though I keep good records, I'm convinced the one time I forget about an automatic payment, or my food bill is too high (another r.a.n.t for another time), it's going to happen just a day before this floating cheque is finally cashed. This has only happened to me a handful of times, but the last thing you want to see is your cheque bouncing higher than Tigger. No, I take that back, the last thing you EVER really want to see is your landlord on the doorstep asking why their cheque was returned. Red face does not even begin to cover the embarrassment.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

UW-Madison: D.C. Smith Greenhouse

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of catching a rare flower in bloom. Knowing it does this only once after several years and then only for a few days, I decided to take a trip to Madison to check it out.

The flower was given the name Dennis. Initially I just kept calling it plant till I was informed it's name was Dennis when I didn't bother to find out what it's name was. (Okay, very bad Monty Python joke there).

While I was at the greenhouse, I decided to check out some of the other plants as well. This was a combination of a few plants in close proximity. Love the red, almost purple leaves. Wish I had looked up the name of them. *

I love this one, it's kind of a yellow cactus. Yes, I know. I should spend some time and figure out what the names of the flowers I'm photographing.

Another view of Dennis. The proper name is Titan Arum, or Amorphophallus Titanum to be exact. It can be found naturally in Sumatra, Indonesia.

Another cactus plant. Doesn't the needles almost look furry?

An interesting sort of plant. To be honest, I don't even know where to begin, except it's really cool.

In a way, this flower kind of reminds me of the Titan Arum, except it's smaller and prettier. What's it called? Again, I'm not sure. I would venture a guess though, it's some variant of Amorphophallus.

One last look at the Titan Arum, otherwise known as the Corpse Flower because when in bloom it smells like rotten meat. Yes, it really was that awful. Certainly, one of the oddest flowers I've ever come across.

*If anyone can help identify these plants, I'd be very appreciative.