I Am A Challenge

challenge

Always searching for inspiration, and any lame excuse theme for a post, I downloaded the above ’31 Day Blog Challenge.’  I quickly saw that I could never do them all, in a month.  Having blogged for 5 years, and pumped dribbled out over 660 posts, it was evident that I’d already (over)done several items, and others simply don’t apply.  Here’s the 31-day series in a fast-forward, 1-post version.

Self-portrait, and 5 random facts about yourself
Check my gravatar, my ‘About’ page, or any/all posts in my ‘Awards Earned’ category.  I’ve revealed more than the girls at the nudie bar.

Favorite quotes
I have hundreds of interesting, impressive and inspirational quotes rattling around in my empty head, and run into more online often.  Only if I’m very lucky do I remember an appropriate one when I need it.

einstein

What makes you happy?
LIFE makes me happy – playing children, a sunset or rainbow, a well-turned phrase.  I am easily pleased.  However, I am also easily displeased.  That’s when I am happy to have this blog-site to bitch about, and hold certain facts and actions up, for ridicule and opprobrium.

Best childhood memory
ALL of them!  I was fortunate to live a long-ago, safe, innocent, happy childhood.  One of my blog-award posts mentions not being much impressed when jobs, taxes and family responsibilities came along.

Favorite movies you never get tired of watching
I knew people who watched ‘Titanic’ 8 and 9 times.  The boat sinks.  Everybody dies.  A movie is a visual story. Once you’ve been told the story, it doesn’t change.  Even epic movies like James Bond, or Star Trek, I can only watch twice, or perhaps three times, before my OCD yells, “Tell me a different story.”

Your last act of random kindness
What?  Today?  They are constant and ongoing.  Small things.  Everything from smiling and saying Please and Thank You (Which, sadly, is becoming viewed as an act of kindness, rather than mere good manners) to taking shopping carts out of parking spaces and arranging them neatly in the cart corral.  It assuages my OCD and sense of order, and prevents others from getting dinged cars.

What’s your dream job?
I’m retarded retired, and living the dream.  I’d like to dream with a little more money, but….

Biggest pet peeve
We all rant about dopey drivers and dealing with bureaucracy but, since such a large part of my life centers around reading and writing, my peeve is about poor English usage – especially by paid writers and authors. Teachers used to go to Teachers College to learn how to teach children.  Now they go to Universities to obtain two useless degrees, and neither they nor their students can read or write.

What’s on your bucket list?
I don’t have a pot to piss in, so there’s no money in my bucket to do anything.

Rate the last movie you watched
I recently saw Star Trek Beyond.  It was forced, fun and fast.  Written by Simon Pegg, the actor who plays Scotty, it contained a number of ‘McGuffins’, unnecessary/invalid plot devices to get the viewer to go along with the tale.  After (finally) suspending disbelief, it was a rollicking action movie.

The last book you read
See ‘kindness’ above.  What, today??  I’m currently reading E.E. (Doc) Smith’s ‘Spacehounds of IPC’, Tom Clancy (actually written by Mark Greany), ‘Command Authority’, and Robert Asprin/Linda Evans, ‘Tales of the Time Scouts.’

What is your favorite recipe?
We eat so many kinds of real good food….anything Tex-Mex.  I never got any when I was young.  They had barely invented pizza.  Nothing fancy, just filling.  Perhaps Potato pancakes.  Yum!

Create a photo gallery of your best pics
Old shaky-finger Phil??  I don’t take artistic shots.  Almost everything I’ve photographed, has already been included in my posts.

What’s on your favorite playlist?
I’m too damned old for ‘playlists’!  I occasionally go to YouTube when I recall a 60s or 70s song I can’t listen to on my cassette player any more.  For an upcoming drive to Detroit, the wife asked about a playlist for the trip.  Among others, I suggested Fleetwood Mac’s Tusk, and The Chain, Valdy, doing Play Me A Rock And Roll Song, as well as The Moody Blues’, I’m Just A Singer (In A Rock And Roll Band).

Tips on travelling to a destination
Our journeys are restricted to car trips, so I have few tips.  Plan ahead, service and gas the car, make reservations!

What are your 10 must-haves for a vacation?
If you have 10 things, or more, that you must have, that’s not a vacation.  That’s a temporary move!  Take along twice as much money, half as many clothes, an open mind, a spirit of inquiry and adventure, and the determination to see things, learn things, and have fun, no matter what happens. ….and that reservation!

As usual, I’m too wordy. Please return soon for Act 2 of this one-act play.  😳

I’ve Been Thinking

We attended the Free Thinkers luncheon again, recently.  I was seated beside a new member, and was guessing his country of origin, based on his accent.  Score one for the old guy.  He was Russian.  He studied English and German in University, and is qualified to be a professor in either, or both.  So, that means he’s working as an assembler in a plastics plant, similar to the son’s.  Always nice to know we’re putting the skills of our immigrants to the best use.

The reason I didn’t immediately place his accent was that he said he comes from Eastern Russia, Southern Siberia.  He said he could look out his back door into China.  I worked at the stamping shop with a young Russian who described his home town almost exactly the same way.  At least he had got a job as an engineer.  Thinker Russian said that he had decided to get rid of his TV, because there was nothing good on, and asked (told) his kids if they should sell the TV.  Engineer Russian did the same thing – scary!

The young lad across the table asked him what the name of his town/city was, apparently because he had some knowledge of the area.  He said he was from Kusnetzk.  I asked him to repeat the pronunciation and translate to English if he could.  I had heard correctly.  My name in Russian is Kusnetzov, not merely Smith, but (son of a)Smith.  He was from my namesake Russian city.  Please, hold your applause.  I’m only 50 miles from Smithville, here in Ontario.

The Mennonite lady was also there, although she’s actually an ex-Mennonite now.  As close as the Brethren are, I asked what the rest of the congregation thought she was doing while they were at church.  She says they’re waiting for her to repent of her errors and rejoin the flock.

She says they can go flock themselves!  She ain’t going back.  She’s moved to the big city with hot and cold running sin, and taken an apartment.  I must remember to ask what she’s doing to support herself.

Mennonites are cheeeap, at least the local ones are.  They could give my Scottish kin lessons.  They’d shit themselves rather than use a pay toilet.  The women make their own modest, ankle-length dresses with whatever fabric doesn’t sell, at the fabric shop. So here she is in a dress made of cloth which makes her look like an overstuffed sofa in a brothel, and a bright white pair of Avia sneakers poking out underneath.  They’re all air-cells and sparklies, not really completing the modesty theme.  She hasn’t completely left the entire mindset.  She says she’ll continue to wear the dresses, because that’s what she’s used to.

When I was setting the daughter up in the park, for the Non-Violence Festival, I met a dog-walking club/group (?).  As I was trying to carry her stuff from the car to the bridge to the island, I was cut off at the pass by 25/30 humans leading 15/20 dogs on the paved walkway around the lake.  The dog leading the parade was a beautiful Golden Lab, with his own Golden Lab, a stuffed toy half as big as he was in his mouth.  Later, I saw Mommy carrying, when his jaws got tired.  One couple was walking two dogs.  He had the leash for one, and that dog had the leash for the other in his mouth.

There was a young man who liked to view the lake and feed the birds.  He had some muscular dystrophy, and got around in a power wheelchair, similar to the daughter’s.  He liked to roll the chair near the water, and then sit on the raised bank and toss bread to the ducks and swans.  The week before the Non-Violence, he had been found drowned.  He was always happy, and had made future plans.  It is thought that he exited the wheelchair and had a muscular spasm at the brink, fell in, and, of course, could not save himself, and no-one else noticed.

I have a couple of blogs “in the can”, which will require the wife to help me add pictures.  We (She?) went through the digital photos on the computer, and set up a file for my posts.  We realized that some of the shots we wanted were in a scruffy, ignored pile of “bricks and mortar” photos, from before the arrival of the digi-cam, and scanned them in.  This impelled the wife to spend the best part of two days, organizing, labeling, and properly storing, envelopes of negatives and prints.

A short while ago, Ted @ SightsNBytes said that, when he started blogging, he intended to post recipes, and photos of his area, and trips.  Then he discovered he had constructive writing ability, and has never got around to it.  The wife asked if I was interested in using pictures of some of our trips, to post some photo-blogs.  Since I still haven’t discovered much constructive writing ability, hopefully with Ted’s permission, and your acceptance, I thought that I’d start working some into the rotation.

The white-elephant LRT has to pass under the ring-road expressway.  The region was just going to bore a hole through the embankment, and arch it with concrete.  The Ontario Ministry of Transportation insists that they must use special soil stabilization methods.  We haven’t moved one shovel of dirt yet, and the cost, for that one little section, has risen $2.5 million.  I think we’re screwed.

I went with the son to the Bulk Barn store today.  He spotted a new Aztec hot chocolate powder, with some hot pepper added, as the Aztecs used to drink chocolate.  I think I’ll try some tonight as we watch our British crime-show.  I think I’ll survive to post again soon.

I think that’s all the non-information I want to impart for today.  You’ll see me (I fervently hope.) again in a couple of days.