Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Holding Hands

When I was just a little boy,
my father held my hand.
That always made me feel so grand.

He worked so hard for many years,
I was provided for.
Something I was oft to ignore.

As years went on and I grew up,
I thought I knew it all.
Must've been like talking to a wall.

He always told me what to do,
tried to correct my way
I tried hard not to disobey.

Later, I moved out on my own,
continued with my life.
I had a job and then a wife.

Now I had children of my own.
When they weren't acting nice,
I often asked dad for his advice.

When I had an other problem,
I knew just who to see.
Whatever he told me, I would agree.

And then we were just hanging out,
to watch a Packer game.
Good friends is what we became.

My family then received the news,
my dad was getting sick.
His health declined then, very quick.

No longer did he have his strength,
I wished he'd be all right.
But slowly he did lose his fight.

I cried the day he passed away,
I'm sure you'll understand.
But I was there to hold his hand.


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Walk On By

Standing here with such good news,
Why would anyone dare refuse?
Just because we try to preach,
you scoff and resent what we teach.
I see you as you walk on by,
looking down or into the sky.
You ignore us as you walk away,
averting eyes from the display.
Some may wish that we were dead,
but other Witnesses would be here instead.
We try to show a better life,
be a better child, husband or wife.
Yes, all of us are badly flawed,
So read the council from Jehovah God.
You would learn if you took a look,
what's really taught in each bible book.
If with this worlds pain you disagree,
then go on, take one. Yes, they're free.
You can learn to, on God rely.
Or will you simply, walk on by?


Monday, April 28, 2014

Pride of Madeira

I think when next I take a trip.
Outside my land.
I'd like to see an island strip.

Madeira is so lovely.
Travel and see,
an amazing shrub of beauty

With purple flowers in a cone;
I find this grand.
Yet some feel it is over-grown.

Australia thinks it's just a weed.
Perish the thought.
A viewpoint I shall not concede.

It's loved by every bird and bee,
butterflies too.
Adored and loved, of course, by me.


Thank you Rachel for the use of your photo.

Sunday, April 27, 2014


R.a.n.t. of week 04/27/14
Before I begin my r.a.n.t. for the week, let me check the date.

Yep, just as I remembered. The year is 2014, not 1984. I just wonder if all of my friends are aware of this. I've always followed along with technology. To be honest, I'd be lost without it. Does that make me a techno-nerd? Or just trying to remain connected? With all the sophisticated technology available, I'm surprised certain people don't wish to take advantage of it. Recently, one of my friends was irritated (and rightly so) when he was not informed about an event taking place to which many others were aware of.

Was the event posted to twitter, Instagram, Facebook or G+? No, it was not. Well, I may have actually said something about it on Facebook, but the "official" invite wasn't posted there. For the record, I do try to understand when a person doesn't want to get involved in various social media sites such as Facebook. Their worries may be well-founded, information posted there may one day be used against them, especially if they are ever hacked. But, in most cases, you only get 'out' of something, what you put 'in'. If you are not sharing personal photos, phone numbers and addresses, what's the harm? The benefit I see is keeping in contact with as many of your friends as possible. But I digress.

Back to my friend, we were talking about him not being informed of an event. As for the 'official' plans, they were 'group texted' to everyone. However, my friend doesn't even do text messages. As odd as that is, I have another friend who doesn't even use email. If the person isn't personally called or talked to face to face, they will have no idea what is going on. Granted, I can see the appeal of receiving a person phone call, or a visit from a friend when they have news To be honest, I love when friends stop over or call, it just doesn't happen often. But the downside of a personal phone call or visit is it takes time. If I have a party I'm planning and I know everyone receives texts, are on Facebook or has an email account, I'm more prone to going that route than going the following way:

dial 555-1516 - Hi this is John, leave a message.
2 minutes later
dial 555-4815 - "Jack, I'm calling to.... what? Yea, I heard about your trip......
35 minutes later
dial 867-5309 - "Jenny, I'm having a party. We're going to have a good time, so I thought I'd give you a call. The date is....
6 minutes later
dial 555-4223 - "May I speak with Charlie please?........ Hey, how you doing? I'm calling to invite......
21 minutes later......

So an hour has elapsed and I've reached only three of my friends and left a phone message with one. Should I call that one person back later to make sure they got the message? Yea, probably. I supposed if I want to get fancy about it and still take a lot of time, I can write out party invitations and request r.s.v.p's so they will be responsible for letting me know. Or, maybe I could do this.

Text (John) 555-1516, (Jack) 555-4815, (Jenny) 867-5309, (Charlie) 555-4223, (Kate) 555-1542, (Ben) 555-1648, (Michael) 555-8423 "Hey all, having a party on the 23rd, you're all invited. Let me know if you can make it.
5 minutes later

No, I'm not saying everyone MUST or SHOULD get involved in social media. Neither am I saying everyone NEEDS to have text messages equipped. I understand why people might not want to do that. All I'm saying is, it's so much faster and fun. So, even though I won't hold this against someone, I may still r.a.n.t. about it a little bit.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Robert Machim

Machim left the regal tower,
his love for Anne was all the buzz.
More beautiful than Echium flower
their romance. Tragic, though it was.

He; honourable and debonair,
a man of war, an English knight.
She; a royal, lady fair.
Their love for each, forbade outright.

No one would ever steal their dream,
the resolute lovers had a hope.
So Machim whispered her his scheme
and from Bristol they did elope.

They took to flight into the sea,
but then the clouds began to form.
The voyage ended with tragedy,
he lost his lovely in the storm.

The gale was violent, thunders roared,
he realized now he was marooned.
He lost the cherished he adored,
twas greatest of his many wound.

Through the night he called her name
He searched till he could move no more.
At daybreak finally, Anne came,
she washed up gently on the shore

The sudden grief he felt was grave,
his weakened heart, shattered through.
His one true love he couldn't save,
Nothing more in life would he pursue.


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Super Man

If I could travel very fast,
I'd quickly finish all my chores.
Then help my friends, or those who've asked.
And still have time to spend outdoors.

If I were blessed and very strong.
In addition to my speed.
I'd help, I'm sure, if things were wrong.
For whoever had the need.

And when I wanted to relax,
I'd take to flight into the sky.
Just my tights, I'd drop my slacks.
Though many people wonder why.

* * * * *

Every citizen, every crook,
glancing upward, take a look!

Oh my word!
Is it a bird?!!

Let me explain,
It's a Plane!!

Not so Stan,
It's Superman!

Let's watch him smash right through the door.
What were those first two excited for?


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Psychrolutes Marcidus

My favourite fish looks like a blob.
Perfect mascot for a human slob.
He asked a girl out on a date,
she replied, 'You're over-weight.
And then she added, very cruel,
'You're an ugly, stupid, silly fool'.
'Loving you would be so funny,'
'Unless, of course, you've lots of money'.
She swam into the murky dark,
when suddenly appeared an evil shark.
Despite the hurtful taunts she gave,
he went to help 'cause he was brave.
The shark put up a terrible fight,
but in the end succumbed to fright.
The girl, I'm sure, was most confused,
our hero pummelled, badly bruised.
He asked again, though on the mend.
She laughed harder still.
The End.


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

National Poetry Month

It comes along just once a year,
so rhyme your words and give us cheer.
Tell about your lovely frog,
and a city choked in traffic smog.
The calming tide of the Atlantic Ocean,
of how it plays with your emotion.
You may simply write about a tree,
or a trip you took to Tennessee.
Use your poem to make us wonder,
why we love the rain and thunder.
Yes, poetry month is under way,
write something wonderful every day.


Monday, April 21, 2014

Aechmea Fasciata

I'd like a garden, very grand,
with many different types of bloom.
Guests would flock from every land,
never leave in saddened gloom.

My centre piece would make you think,
Bromeliad, wondrous, in beauty arrayed.
Gorgeous, lovely shades of pink,
No finer flower e'er displayed.


Sunday, April 20, 2014

Showing Appreciation

R.a.n.t. of week 04/20/14
Have I ever told you how much I appreciate you reading my articles? Or when you leave a comment, or give it a 'thumbs up' or share? If not, let me take the time to do that now.

Thank you so much for reading my articles. Thanks for every time you leave a comment, give it a thumbs up or share it. You have no idea how much that means to me. I truly appreciate it.

Now that that's out of the way, what about showing appreciation to others for all they do for you or those you love? Unfortunately, we live in a society where thanks is not given freely. Granted, something small may not even require much thanks, if at all:
Person One: That'll be $3.55.
Person Two: Here's $5.00
Person One: Here's your change, $1.45.
Person Two: Thanks.

Did the person really need to say thanks? Something small and expected was done, so no. But it was still nice to hear, wasn't it? Let's take it a step up. What do you think of the following exchange?

Person One: Excuse me sir. When you paid the cashier, you dropped $5.00 on the ground. Here it is.
Person Two: THANKS!

One of those random acts of kindness we can still see today. Certainly, the appreciation was more intensified. It goes without saying, the more money dropped, the bigger the thanks.

A return of money, is hardly the only thing we can thank another person for.

Mother: You just coloured on the wall! Go stand in the corner till I figure out what to do with you!
Child: Okay, thanks mom.

Wait, no. That probably wouldn't happen. In fact, sometimes thanks may not even be given. A child is hardly going to thank their parent for correcting their wrong behaviour, at least not right away. But years down the road, the child may begin to realize what the punishments were all about. The parent loved the child so much, they wanted them to grow up and be a respectable adult. That's not something that comes easy when a child is never punished for wrongdoing. So that kind of appreciation may take years to be returned, if at all. Sometimes we appreciate a parent only years later and only in a passing reference:

Person One: Wow, look at that child. He is out of control.
Person Two: I know, the parent is just sitting there calmly eating fries as the child screams and runs into the other customers.
Person One: I'm glad my parents never let me get away with that when I was a child, how disrespectful.
Person Two: You should tell your mother that.
Person One: Nah, she knows.

Then there are the times a simple 'Thank You' is NOT appropriate. What are your thoughts on the following situation?

Customer: The food was great, our server was fantastic!
Server: Glad you appreciated the meal. Your bill comes to $19.00.
Custer: Here's twenty dollars. I should get a dollar change. Thanks for the service. Bye.

Did you spot what was wrong? If not, then you have probably never worked in the food industry.

To make a long r.a.n.t. short, there are so many things we can show appreciation for, but do we? Sometimes we don't even realize how much a kind word would be to hear for hard work someone has put into something they've done. Can you try using at least one of the following sentences this week to someone who you feel deserves it?

Thanks for being such a good friend/mother/father/son/daughter.
Thank you for listening to my problems.
Thanks for listening to all my problems and not dismissing me as a friend.
I love the (writing, photography, drawing, painting, projects, etc.etc) you spend so much time on. They brighten my day.
Thanks for making my breakfast/lunch/dinner. It was wonderful.
Thank you for saving the last piece of pizza for me.
Thanks for putting me in the corner when I drew on the walls when I was a child.
Thank you for letting me merge (you can show this with a nod, thumbs up or wave).
Thank you for putting up with all my crazy ideas that never seem to work.
Thank you for all those crazy ideas you do that never work, they make me laugh.
Thanks for trying to cheer me up with your jokes.
Thanks for being a positive person and not being a Debbie Downer.
Thanks for not being a Debbie Drop-In and calling before you come for a visit.
Thanks for checking up on me, even though you dropped in out of the blue, Debbie.
Thanks for keeping my life interesting.
Thanks for your helping me learn a new language.
Thank you for always being there for me.
Thank you for being a positive influence in my life.
Thanks for inviting me over to your humble abode. I had a wonderful time.
Thanks for helping me around the house, you've been a big help.
Thank you for writing this article, I think more people need to read this.
(Okay, you don't have to use that last one. Just seeing if you are paying attention).

Anyway, you'd be amazed how well these thoughts of appreciation will be received.
What have I missed? How many more ways can YOU think to show appreciation to someone?

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Saturday Guest Poem

One of my favourite Simpson's episodes was about the monorail.
A transient flim-flam man comes to town and sells them on a worthless monorail.
The show (at least the initial part) was spoofing the Music Man.
Following was the catchy (and poetic) tune.

There's nothing on earth
Like a genuine,
Bona fide,
What'd I say?

What's it called?

That's right! Monorail!




I hear those things are awfully loud.
It glides as softly as a cloud.

Is there a chance the track could bend?
Not on your life, my Hindu friend.

What about us brain-dead slobs?
You'll be given cushy jobs.

Were you sent here by the devil?
No, good sir, I'm on the level.

The ring came off my pudding can.
Take my pen knife, my good man.

I swear it's Springfield's only choice.
Throw up your hands and raise your voice!


What's it called?

Once again.

But Main Street's still all cracked and broken.
Sorry, Mom, the mob has spoken!




Mono... D'oh!

-The Simpsons

Friday, April 18, 2014

The Beach

The shoreline arched into a curve.
It stretched forever, this favoured beach.
A periodic fishing pier.

Blissful swimmers, the jet-ski's swerve.
Just several inches out of reach.
Irritating every Peer.

An eight year child will volunteer.
Her brothers help she will beseech.
Sand castles her career.

A bully kicks some sand, what nerve!
The scrawny nerd starts to screech.
Girlfriend tries to disappear.


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Tom & Jerry

Tom and Jerry - so many tales,
ever fight but none prevails.
With a mallet, they love to swing.
eternal fighting is their thing.

On a fishing wire Tom will trip,
then a banana peel makes Jerry slip.
A frying pan will always stun,
why do they think this tortures fun?


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Coati Mondi

Relaxing in Mexico all afternoon,
I spied an odd pest-like raccoon.

Flocking together as a bevy of quail,
proudly displaying their smooth ringed tail.

This Mexican begger has found a way,
to keep well fed from the food buffet.

As one approached I give a shout,
then he ran away with his crooked snout.


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Pwa Ga Nyaw Gloh

I try to talk -
but can you hear?
Are my words sounding clear?

Simply I will speak -
I hope that I am understood.
But is my language any good?

Read the script-
I shall not ignore.
Practice, practice, ever more.

Good job I hear-
How I wish this were true,
but still I have too much to do.

Give it time-
I will continue and persevere,
yes, it'll take longer than a year.


Monday, April 14, 2014


A delicious, rare and wonderful treat.
Something you should try to eat.
An exotic taste to bring delight,
with reddish meat or sometimes white.
Looks like it fell from outer-space,
But that has never been the case.
Most times it costs a lot of loot,
also called a Dragon Fruit.


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Have You Turned It Off And On Again?

R.a.n.t. of week 04/13/14
Remember back in the days when computers actually helped you accomplish tasks? Now all they do is sit there and cause problems. Either they are flooding my inbox with spam (more of an internet issue I know), or they are constantly needing 'updates'. How many updates does my computer need? It's always requesting an update for one program or another. Adobe, Itunes, Microsoft, Security Essentials, Firefox, the list could go on.

Lately I've also been having a problem with my computer running slow. No warning, just suddenly "Oh you want to do that? Okay, simple, easy. I just hope you don't mind waiting five minutes." The more advanced these computers seem to get, the slower they seem to become, despite the increase in memory or ram.
Moss: "HA! Memory IS R.A.M."

I refuse to call the IT department when I should be able to figure out simple computer problems myself. Speaking of IT departments, you ever wonder what IT actually stands for?
Jen: "What doesn't it stand for?"

Okay, so I CAN work through my own computer problems. But seriously, why so many problems lately? I'm fairly techno-saavy, but many of my friends are not. And these friends, for some reason, are always having weird and/or complex problems. Suddenly losing connection to the internet, music has vanished from their Itunes, sound suddenly becoming disabled, strange messages popping up or something else crazy all together. It can take a while, but eventually I get it sorted. Just wish there were not so many computer problems all the time. You'd think the Elders of the Internet would have a better handle on things. I have to admit though, when a friend calls and asks for help, the first thing I suggest is to turn the computer off and back on again. No really, you'd be surprised how often that actually fixes the problem.

IT Crowd
Jen: I have a lot of experience with the whole computer thing you know, emails, sending emails, receiving emails, deleting emails, the web. Using a mouse, mices, using mice. Clicking, double clicking. The computer screen, of course. The keyboard. The bit that goes on the floor.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Saturday Guest Poem

I'm taking a poetic break on the weekends.
So today's poem is contributed.
Thanks for sharing!

As the moon is rising silently,
The sun is sinking in the sea,
He only seems to catch a glimpse,
of her pale & glowing innocence.
These two orbs that share the sky,
Day and night keep floating high,
Above the earth of blue and green,
Passing glances so serene.
Reflecting light that he supplies,
She shines amid the dark night skies,
But far apart they'll always be,
Alone for all eternity.

Kimberly Lyn

Friday, April 11, 2014

Indoor Rain

I see a water stain on the wall.
Slowly it begins to drip.

My upstairs neighbour has the gall,
to let the seeping water slip.

Does he not hear the water fall?
Or just looking for a big fat lip?


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Kirk vs. Vader

An experiment from Lord Darth Vader,
this long ago story was a crime.
Captained by legendary James T. Kirk,
the Enterprise transported out of time.

To catch a rebel Imperial traitor,
Vader's plans he thought was strong.
Then Jim called him an asthmatic jerk,
That's where the project went so wrong.

To rid himself of this invader,
Aura Sing was quickly called.
Jim greeted her warmly with a smirk,
Because he was so much enthralled.

Worse than the rebels, this crusader,
Vader's plans were such a mess.
His lightsaber now, his only perk,
perhaps he'd now enjoy success.

Because he was a true dictator,
the Emperor suddenly pulled the plug.
Anakin enraged, he went berserk,
so asked for Spock's help with a shrug.

Though he was the task creator,
Darth received a farewell gift.
Delivered from a postal clerk,
a certificate for a free face-lift.


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

LIzzy the Lizard

Lizzy is so very cool,
with her fiendish, evil grin.
Beautiful in her own way,
I love the texture of the skin.

You'll see her where it's very warm,
cold-blooded means she likes the heat.
And when she's hungry, you should know,
fruits and greens she likes to eat.

When evading the hungry hawk,
there is one more bizarre detail.
Lizzy still can get away,
if she sheds her writhing tail.


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Drizzly Days & Tuesday's

Listening to the rain and feeling down.
Callin' in sick today;
Much to my boss dismay;
Driving around, then suddenly I need a tow.
Drizzly days & Tuesday's, always feeling low.

This downpour makes me want to paint in blues.
I wish they were not here;
I hope that they disappear;
The winds they did blow, as humidity began to grow.
Drizzly days & Tuesday's, always feeling low.

Strange, 'cause tonight's the night of the eclipse you know.
Sad we're having this monsoon.
For once I'd like to see this astronomical show.
Guess I'm gonna miss the moon.

At least I have time for 'Stormy Gray'.
Story within' this book.
Of a wild horse by a brook.
Kate was all aglow, till he died in the Winter Snow.
Drizzly days & Tuesday's, always feeling low.


* Sung to the song - "Rainy Days & Mondays" - the Carpenters

Monday, April 7, 2014

Vegetation on the Wall

Formidable, the castle wall.
Letting nothing through.
Obediently, it stands it's guard,
witness how the foe withdrew.

Ever patient, ever true.
Remember you must wait.
Postpone a little while.

Once it's time, you blossom forth.
Wielding power, ever strong!
Erode the mighty wall of stone.
Real potential all along.


Sunday, April 6, 2014

Road Closed

R.a.n.t. of week 04/06/14
No jokes, no puns, no comedy. I really, really, really hate roads being closed. I especially hate it when there are two major roads closed where I live. One of Milwaukee's main streets (27th) has a stretch closed for about a mile, if not more.. Four lanes reduced to two. This makes for much congestion in the morning. And since the road is being torn up, all the asphalt scraped off needs to go somewhere. A MAJOR CROSS STREET! Let's put it there!!! Who are the road wizards that came up with that one? It's so bad, Loomis is starting to look more like a quarry than a street. Honestly, I think I saw the Beeb filming an episode of Doctor Who there yesterday.

So I can't use 27th, I can't use Loomis (the open part of Loomis goes the wrong way) so I must find a new route to work. The next logical choice would be 35th street (Yes, I'm frightened people are starting to figure out exactly where I live, but I'm moving in the future so that won't be a problem). As for 35th, there's good news, and there's bad news. The bad news is my idea is shared by many others looking for an alternate route. This tends to cause a another major back up. The good news is.... well, I lied there is no good news, just more bad news. When you travel 35th street, about a mile North is a bridge which is currently having a construction project of it's own after a train ran into with a double stacked load. Half of the bridge is closed which brings the four lane bridge down to two. For almost a mile South of the bridge, traffic is backed up, pretty much all the way to Loomis.Why is it not 2015 yet? According to Back to the Future, we'll have hover cars. I can't wait.

Photo of a Dalek (Behind the gravel pile).

Friday, April 4, 2014

They Hated it

My neighbour friends all had a part,
to create a living room collage.
they hung so many works of 'art',
But now they sit in the garage.

I'm not mean, I'm just up-front.
So I'll describe the awful image.
An eclectic nightmare, let's be blunt.
Sensible as a K-5 Scrimmage.


Inspired from the show 'Trading Spaces'.
Primarily the episodes where everything was hated.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Karen Cooking

'Peanut Fried Rice With Fish'
We're cooking something so delish'
We like to cook and have some fun
but just make sure the rice is done.
And keep the skillet very hot,
then wipe your nose, I see your snot.
If your fish you think you'll miss
Quickly give a good-bye kiss.
A little mess from Pierre the klutz
at least he remembered to bring the nuts.
Next get the onions, they'll hit the spot,
what do you mean that you forgot?
Since the onions have been misplaced,
let's sample some of this fish paste.
If you have no cracker to put beneath
perhaps you can use to brush your teeth.
To finish off let's add a lime.
Please do not trip this time.
The food is done, now lets asses.
By golly, we just made a mess.
Cooking for Pemu must've seemed a threat,
that's why she left and went to Pho Viet.


If you really want to make Peanut Fried Rice With Fish,
ask Pemu for help. Not Pierre
And use the recipe below.


2 tablespoons oil
1 large onion, chopped (2 cups)
2 1/2 tablespoons minced ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
4 cups of cooked Jasmine Rice, cold*
1-2 tablespoons Fish Sauce
1/2-3.5 oz box Peanut Sauce Mix
2 cups cooked and flaked fish** (of choice, grilled or pan-seared)
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
1 lime cut into 8 wedges
Optional: Favorite hot sauce
*Day old rice works best for fried rice.
**We used salmon for our test, but any firm fleshed fish will do.

1. In a large non-stick skillet heat oil over a high heat until hot. Add onions and cook until they are a deep brown (caramelized), but not black.
2. Add the ginger and garlic. Stirring, cook 2 or 3 minutes until fragrant. Add Jasmine Rice and Fish Sauce. Stir-fry until rice is coated with oil. Add more oil if too dry.
3. Add 1 inner envelope of Peanut Sauce Mix and fish. Stir-fry until heated through. Mix in basil at the last minute of cooking and serve.
4. Pass a bowl of lime wedges to squeeze on rice. For those who "like it hot" sprinkle on a few drops of hot sauce.

A Taste of Thai

This poem was inspired form a skit I performed with my friend Conrad, called "Karen Cooking". The skit can be viewed HERE:

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Humming Bird

Beat your wings so you may fly.
Visible, barely, to the naked eye.
You hover there without a care
drinking nectar in mid-air.
Buzzing, humming, in delight,
through the entirety of your flight.
Watching you is such a thrill
till suddenly you have had your fill.


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Sick Day

When I wake up feeling sick,
a stomach flu has held me quick.
There is no food I dare to eat,
lest I run to the bathroom seat.

I lay about in bed all day,
a sickly man's a sad display.
A women will thus tell you true,
quite soon she'd ship him to Peru.

But I am one who has no nurse,
so must endure this health reverse.
Relying on my very wit,
assuring others I'm most unfit.

Longing for a sudden cure.
Will help come? It seems unclear.
The one sure way I can regroup,
a healthy bowl of chicken soup.