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 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 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.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

This Place is Swarming

R.a.n.t. of week 08/11/13
It's that time of year again - food on a stick time! That's right, the past two weeks have been our Wisconsin State Fair. Just about anything you can imagine ends up on a stick; deep fried snickers bar, deep fried cheesecake dipped in chocolate, deep fried Oreo dipped in chocolate (see a pattern?) and mac & cheese (oddly enough, not dipped in chocolate), just to name a few. Additionally are the typical food fair, baked potatoes, cream puffs, beer or funnel cakes. Next you have the unusual; chocolate covered bacon, deep fried butter and Krispy Kreme hamburgers. (Reminds me of Jim Gaffigan's donut ham hamburger). Now, I could be about too much good food (or bizarre unique food), but I'm not. Besides, I've already done so HERE.

This time I'm insecure about the number of people who actually flock to the fair for these favourite food fluffs. Standing in line for food of any sort is rough enough, but try walking close to a crowd where the speciality items are sold. Or worse, the exhibit halls. Walking through the mob of people has been described to me as trying to swim in water. You are constantly fighting to move forward, and it's never easy. Of course,  you are also worried about running into a pick-pocketer. Yet, maybe that wouldn't be such a bad thing. The less money I have, the less I'm prone to purchase food that'll inspire an instant heart attack.

Bonus Photo: Krispy Kreme Hamburger

Friday, August 9, 2013

Scraped Away

We are the creators,
while others destroy.
We bask in our pity
and embrace tragedy.

The shattered vessels and
emptiness of this world.
Accepting rejection
yet clamoring for more.

We are not the artists of life,
or the musicians of love.
The writers of prose
and poets of pain.

We are the bugs you squash,
the rejected and lost.
You tread on us carelessly,
then scrap us away.


Picnic Shopping

He asked the clerk for a bit of cheese,
a bottle of wine and tin of nuts.
"Perchance some meat. Oh pretty please?"
"Make it of your finest Cuts."

"I'll need a cloth, so here's my pick,"
"and this exquisite tray of choicest fruit."
The register tabulated click, click, click,
then greedily accepted all his loot.


Sunday, August 4, 2013

Say Goodnight, Gracie

R.a.n.t. of week 08/04/13
I have always prided myself on striving to be the most gracious guest or hospitable host. Have I always succeeded? That's another story. I'd like to think I do.

When I attend a party, I like to bring something along, even if I'm told it's not necessary. When I host my own parties I like to go out of my way to make sure every amenity has been taken care of.

When attending a dinner party, I make sure to compliment as much as possible, without seeming insincere. Essentially, I find things to compliment, there is always something (usually many). When I host a party, I make sure to thank everyone as they arrive, and for whatever they have brought.

But there is always one thing I've had a problem with as the host and the guest - when to say good night. I think we've all been in this situation. As the guest, how do you know when it's time to call it an evening? When hosting a party, how can you discretely inform the guests the party is over? As it turns out, there are several ways both can be accomplished.

As the guest: Ask in advance how long they plan to have people over for.
Keep in mind: 2:00am is not the best time to ask this.
As the host: Provide a time frame in advance.
Keep in mind: 'Whenever' is not an acceptable time frame.

As the guest: Remember most hosts plan two to three activities. (Dinner, a game, light conversation).
Keep in mind: A slumber party is NOT usually one of the activities.
As the host: Play soft music during the party. When you are ready to wrap things up, stop.
Keep in mind: Do not select Brahms Lullaby as one of the 'soft songs' unless you are planning a sleep over.

As the guest: Watch for visual clues. i.e., starting to clean up or standing by the exit door.
Keep in mind: Don't tell the hosts they can clean up AFTER the party is over.
As the host: Wrap up conversations with, 'Hope you had a good evening' or 'We have to do this again'.
Keep in mind: Don't say, 'This is the latest you've ever stayed'.

In essence, use common sense and remember the rules may change slightly between situations. A long time friend may overstay a welcome with neither the host nor the guest thinking too much about it. But a new found friend may only stick around till after dinner.

"Say goodnight, Gracie."

"Goodnight Gracie."