Sunday, March 31, 2013

I 'Like' It

R.a.n.t. of week 03/31/13
Some things can be bitter-sweet. For example, this entry. Bitter in the sense it points out a fault I have with people on various networking sites, but sweet in the sense if you are reading this, it doesn't apply to you. As a writer and poet; photographer and comedian, there is no better reward than to hear compliments of a job well done. It heightens the feeling of accomplishment. So that's why I find it difficult to understand when certain ones simply 'like' something, and that's as far as it goes. Even a general note of 'nice read' or 'love the photo' illustrates the person took the time to read the thing I wrote, or spent time looking at the photo I posted. I guess the negative feeling is intensified when I see how many other people get such a favourable response and varied input into the things they post. Keep in mind though, I also appreciate constructive criticism. I'm not clamouring solely for accolades. If you have good input, and it's constructive, I'd love to hear it.

As I started this entry out; if you are reading this, I'm not directing this at you. Mostly because even though I don't always get input in the form of a comment here, Twitter, Instagram or Facebook, I do hear back from people IRL or on the phone. I also know I do have a fan base that reads things regularly but don't always contribute a comment. That's their way and I'm fine with it, because I know they do appreciate the dedication I put into my craft. But there is a trend on some of the social media sites to simply "like" something, just because it's posted. Without giving it a second glance. In essence, it's kind of like saying, "It's nice you posted this, but I'm not going to waste my time looking at it."

So much for being positive in this r.a.n.t. as I was hoping to do this week. I may complain about others ranting and raving, but have to admit. Sometimes I 'like' it.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Cajun Style Bacon

R.a.n.t. of week 03/24/13
This weekend, one of my good friends posted a photo to Facebook, proud of his breakfast dinner. Let's be honest, who doesn't enjoy breakfast for dinner? However, one of the things discussed amongst a few of us was the degree to which the bacon was prepared. "Looks like you burnt that bacon." & "U ruined bacon........" were a few comments. After these jocular insults were thrown about, he replied "Where did all you haters come from.........scat! You know I like my fried meats borderline Cajun. I made it just the way I like it... perfectly crispy & crunchy all over & it tasted perfect!"

Just for the record, I'm certainly not ranting about (criticizing) anyone for how they enjoy their bacon. I've received my share of wise cracks regarding how I enjoy my meats 'well-done'. "You just ruined a piece of steak", is one insult thrown my way a number of times. Additionally, you know I wasn't seriously being harsh about the 'Cajun style bacon' because even I replied, "Burnt bacon is like Irish Coffee without the whiskey. It's still coffee, so still good...... just not as enjoyable."

So what am I really ranting about? To be honest, I'm not entirely certain. Maybe I'm upset how certain people like to criticize the way others enjoy their food. Or distressed over burnt bacon. Perhaps it's about the misuse of the word 'Cajun'. No, more likely I just decided to write about bacon because everyone loves bacon. Maybe that'll result in a few more readers and comments this week? Sometimes there is a method to my madness.

 Bonus Photo!
Can you ever have too much bacon?

"You guys keep fighting. I'm going to make some popcorn."
"Don't burn it Jeff! But if you do, just call it Cajun!"

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Winter Sun?

R.a.n.t. of week 03/17/13
Last month we asked Phil how long of a winter we could expect. He replied, "Not much more", then scurried back into his den to laugh at us for a while. Perhaps, however, the majority of us were asking the wrong Phil. Weatherman Phil Connors gave a much different outlook. "When Chekhov saw the long winter, he saw a winter bleak and dark and bereft of hope." Oddly, not everyone believes in this. One of my best friends loves the bitter cold winters. No, we don't talk about the weather much, leads to many fights.

I sat freezing in a cold car this morning (trying to warm it up), when the song 'Winter Sun' from Bond came on. During the song a poem is read. The first part reads;

I have seen moon and
blossoms, now I go.
To view the last and
loveliest, the snow.
- Bond Version

With all due respect to my favourite quertet, I'm getting a little sick of the snow. For me the reverse is true;

I beg the last
of this years snow,
to view the blossoms
why don't you go?
- J.A. Scott Version

Getting back to the temperature; today's average was -2°c (27°f), a year ago it was 17°c (63ºf). Talk about a radical difference. Any possibility we can warm this place up? I've got an idea. Let's all leave our front doors open. From what mum used to tell me, it'll heat the entire neighbourhood.

The poem continues;

A frozen dream,
a heart undone.
Forever burning,
under the Winter Sun.
- Bond Version

Honestly,  I can't improve upon this, because it describes me to a "T". From any of my frozen (or stagnant) dreams to my heart being (romantically) undone. I just hope it won't burn forever in the 'Winter Sun'. Maybe just a slight modification?

So my frozen dreams
and heart undone,
can burn again
under the Summer Sun.
- J.A. Scott Version

Blog Notes: I sat in my cold basement to write this. Creativity deserves inspiration.
Additional: Read both parts of my 'Summer Sun'  poem together so it makes more sense.

For more info on Bond - Check out their official website HERE

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Bed Bugs - Fun For The Whole Family!

R.a.n.t. of week 03/10/13
A few weeks back I was complaining about a trip to a water park called the Wilderness. To be fair, it was a rather silly complaint. However, in that r.a.n.t, I mentioned another problem I've had with the same location. Following is the rant I promised.

Wanting to have one last family trip with my father who's battling with cancer, we opted for the Wilderness. As all of us siblings (5 of us) have children, a water park was an ideal place. We rented two 3-Room 'condos' to accommodate our entire family. However we ran into two problems, the second only discovered because of the first. It was a four day trip, but my son started to get sick on the second day. We did what we could to help him feel better, hoping he was just exhausted from too much fun. He was sent to bed early that day but we made sure to keep checking on him. In the evening, after we returned to the room where he was resting (my step-mother sat with him during the day), I went to check on him again along with my sister. It was then she spotted something on the sheets. With him now getting worse, he was burning up and that just rang the dinner bell for the bed bugs. Upon closer inspection, we counted at least ten. If those were the ones we could actually see, how many were there we couldn't? Immediately we had him get up, shower and change clothes. The rest of us were mortified and the rest of the trip was shot.

As a side note, this transpired a few months before I was going on my European vacation (Not with Chevy Chase). Can you imagine how I felt each night as I slept in yet another new bed? Bed bugs were continually on my mind. If it wasn't hoping I didn't sleep in another bed bug filled bed, it was fear that despite my precautions, I might have brought some home from the Wilderness and while I was travelling abroad they were multiplying in my bed at home waiting for me. But I digress, back to the story...

We called housekeeping, the front desk and anyone else from the staff who would listen to us. They offered us another room, but by this time I didn't want to stick around. Plus I wanted to take my sick son home and get him resting in his own bedbug free bed.

Bonus Photo
A week after my Wilderness visit, the bed bug bites began to show (which is the typical length of time). I circled them all in green marker. Sorry for the poor photo.

Do you feel my family should have been compensated? If so, how?

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Mucho Dank, Mon Ami

R.a.n.t. of week 03/03/13
This weekend I was asked by a young Karen girl when I'm going to start learning the Karen language. You see, in our area, we have a lot of Karen speaking people. What is Karen? Wikipedia explains:
The Karen languages are tonal languages spoken by some three million 'Karen People'. They are of unclear affiliation within the Tibeto-Burman languages. The Karen languages are written using the Burmese script.

It was a cute, but valid question. However, in this case I have several reasons why I'm not learning the Karen language. Keep in mind, that's not to suggest I don't want to. I've had a long history of wanting to learn foreign languages. In grade school, I had several class mates who spoke Spanish and I was always asking them how to say various things. I even had a sign language friend who I tried to glean whatever I could from him. A few things I still remember, but certainly not enough to speak fluently in either language. By the time High School rolled around, I was into German. Not only did I take German as a foreign language course, I bought an English/German dictionary for home so I could continue to study outside of school. But this was during a time in my life where I was going through a lot of family problems (parents divorce) and I spent less and less time concentrating on my studies. Everything suffered, including my German, to a point I was so lost from the class, I had no idea what anyone was saying a few weeks in. From then till today I have made small attempts at trying to learn German again, but to no avail. Sometimes I think my brain is just not wired to learn a new language. That and finding an adequate amount of time for the studies.

When I was younger, I used to dream of having a 'super power' which enabled me to understand every language known to man. How awesome would that be? You could literally speak to anyone! Additionally, there would be the added bonus of listening in on people speaking foreign languages, when they mistakenly think no one can understand them.  

Mucho Dank, Mon Ami
Ta èe a kaw pa nyaw di lèh. (What does that mean)? - Karen
To anyone unaware of what the title of this article says I'll spell it out for you.
Mucho (Much) - Spanish
Dank (Thanks) - German
Mon Ami (My Friend) - French

It's a phrase I created to be funny whenever the subject of foreign languages comes up, and/or I want to confuse the person.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Milwaukee's Snow Day 2013

Stopping at a park during a Milwaukee snow day.

The trees were heave with snow.

The branches were icing over.

Lake Michigan was choppy.

You can see the Lake crashing over the break waters. Also you can see how the Lake has iced over.

A closer look at the iced water.

A closer look at the water.

Milwaukee's Historic Water Tower on a Snowy Winter Day

Hope you appreciated this photo set. Make sure to leave your comments below.
What is your favourite photo?