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 ♪