haiku, humor, photography

Are U Lookin’ At Me?

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Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Farm Animals

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No, this cow did not lose an argument with a bucket of white paint.  Belted Galway cattle are bright white in the middle, with either brown or black fore and aft.  The white is usually in a neat band, much like the rust-colored band on a woolly bear caterpillar.  Maybe this cow’s sloppy band comes from too much time in a certain pub.

What the World Needs
|More silliness from
|those who know they are silly;
|less from the others.

growing old, haiku, humor, philosophy

Old Age is a Mixed Bag

Yet again, classical literature says something complex and important, while leaving much for later generations to discover and say.  For now, I will shut up after 2 haiku.
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Carpe Diem Weekend Meditation #61
a new feature for the weekend … introduction

calls for Japanese-style poetry inspired by an excerpt from Plato.  (An excerpt from the excerpt appears below.)  Yet again, classical literature says something complex and important, while leaving much for later generations to discover and say.  For now, I will shut up after 2 haiku.

Plato-CDHK

“… the pleasures of youth and love are fled away: there was a good time once, but now that is gone, and life is no longer life.”

“… when the passions relax their hold, then, as Sophocles says, we are freed from the grasp not of one mad master only, but of many.”

“… for he who is of a calm and happy nature will hardly feel the pressure of age, but to him who is of an opposite disposition youth and age are equally a burden.”

“… I rather suspect that people … think that old age sits lightly upon you, not because of your happy disposition, but because you are rich, and wealth is well known to be a great comforter.”

Fond Memories
|Nostalgia for
|what never was (nor could have been):
|old man dreams of sex.
|
Still Standing
|Mellow curmudgeon
|shrugs off fate and stands proudly
|paradoxical.
fiction, humor, photography

Wondrous Weirdness — Why Am I Here?

The first edition of a new yearly Writers’ Co-op anthology is a little like a great surrealist painting by René Magritte, and that helps answer the question posed by the subtitle.
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The subtitle’s question is rhetorical, not an ancient conundrum.  Nearly all of the prose I read or write is nonfiction.  Why am I posting (for the third and final time) about a book of weird stories rather than about something in the endlessly fascinating Real World?

The tweetable answer begs the question.  Sure, I wrote one of the 35 stories.  (Click here to see blurbs for some of them.)  But why did I get involved in a substantial fiction project?  The answer is some nonfiction weirdness.

The call for submissions grabbed me in 2 ways:

  • Contributors could opt (as many indeed would) to have their shares of any royalties donated to the Against Malaria Foundation.
  • While weird things are often disturbing (when not merely weird), the call was emphatic about the possibility of being weird and funny (or even weird and funny and disturbing, all at once).

Hmmm.  Could some of the stories in this anthology be simultaneously weird and funny and thought-provoking?  Could they be a little like some of the best surrealist paintings?  The following photo doubles down on the idea behind a great painting by René Magritte:

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Seduced by the call for submissions, I took up the challenge of revising a fragment of weird fiction from a discussion of several poems (and comments) that involved various people, so as make a standalone short story that would be broader and even weirder.  After another revision in light of helpful comments from one of the editors (Atthys Gage), I believe that my story is good as well as weird.  It is also just 2 pages long, so even those who dislike it may still be glad they bought The Rabbit Hole for $2.99 as an e-book or $12.50 as an ink-on-paper book.

Do U have 0.5% of your Amazon purchases donated to a charity by Amazon Smile?  Thru 2018-11-02, the percentage will be 5% instead.

BTW, gecko lizards really can climb straight up hard, smooth walls.  Weird.  But they don’t speak with an Australian accent or tout insurance.  Not in this universe, anyway.

Providing a brief writer’s bio for the anthology prompted me to revise this blog’s grossly outdated About page.  The revised page has a new joke, a few links, and a nice photo.  A nice photo of me would be really weird, so the photo is of something else appropriate.

My other short forays into fiction are also weird.  Both are about an ancient Greek (but written in modern English): Plato watches baseball and copes with a hangover.

fiction, humor

Wondrous Weirdness — Worried Wabbit

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Rabbit-Hole_Worried-Rabbit
Our little friend is worried.  Mistaken for Bugs Bunny by Elmer Fudd’s hired hit man, (s)he was on the run for a while.  There was no chance to pause for rational thought about whether to get the prerelease discount on The Rabbit Hole by ordering the e-book before 2018-11-01.  Yes, being big on rationality is weird for a rabbit.  Some weirdness rubbed off when (s)he posed for the cover of the book, but there is still plenty inside.

The upside of ordering early is that (s)he could save $1; the downside is that (s)he would be trusting promotions like my previous post.  Should (s)he wait for a chance to use something like [Look Inside] on Amazon?  After release, the e-price would still be low at $2.99, and the ink-on-paper version would be an option at $12.50.  Decisions, decisions.

Maybe our little friend will feel better after reading blurbs for some of the 35 stories, ordered as in the book:

  • Foggy
    A father and daughter’s boating trip is ambushed by a mysterious, underwater tormentor.
  • I Should’ve Known Better
    There’s just one thing wrong with his beautiful luxury apartment: it’s a transdimensional portal.  Will the Flying Demon Things get him before he gets one of the centaur Babes?
  • The Scroll and the Silver Kazoo
    You never know who (or what) will show up at an open mic event.
  • Quicksilver Falls
    A mysterious phenomenon puts the future of the world in the hands of a simple Indiana farmer and sparks the world’s strangest writing competition.
  • Satori from a Consulting Gig
    Management consultant Frank Dow has a new client: God.
  • The Adventures of Conqueror Cat
    Herr Trinket (a sharp-eyed and even sharper-tongued shelter cat) traverses an interdimensional rabbit hole into poochlandia to explore the enduring dog-cat dichotomy.
  • Eggs On End
    Claudia had a secret: she was ordinary – agonizingly, mind numbingly ordinary.  But all that was about to change.  And it would all begin with eggs.
  • Life Changing
    Lawrence decides to exercise his brain to avoid his Alzheimer-stricken mother’s fate, but when his life twists beyond recognition, he can’t escape the possibility that lost minds must be somewhere.
  • Carolina Brimstone
    The passion of the zealot is proportional to the power of the demon inside.  Constance Hennfield’s fervor knows no bounds.

 

humor, philosophy, photography

Novice Philosopher Meets Old Yankee

The novice bloviates.  Maybe people he has not met yet will try to set him straight.  They might say pretty much what the Yankee says, while making the points in ways that are gentler, longer, and subtler.  But not as funny.
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… Why are we here? …

‘Cuz wer nawt theyah.

… What is the meaning of life? …

Wehrds need meanings; life don’t.

What happens when an irrestible force meets an immovable object?

We lehrn who was lyin’: the fellah sellin’ a fawhrs or the fellah sellin’ an awbject.
Hmmm.  Coulda been both.

Certainty is not exclusive to math and logic.
For example, no squirrel can get past the baffle on my bird feeder.

Ehyah??

squirrel_840x636

 

fiction, humor

Wondrous Weirdness — Prerelease Discount

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The first volume in a new Writers’ Co-op anthology series will be released on 2018-11-01:

Rabbit-Hole_840x1267

An e-book version can be preordered now by clicking on the image and then clicking on the button for your platform.  On the release date, the e-price will rise from $1.99 to $2.99.  There will be good news then also: oldsters like me will be able to buy the physical ink-on-paper version from Amazon.

For 3 of the 4 platforms reached from the link to The Rabbit Hole, the platform’s page has a nice summary of the contents and spirit of the anthology:

How do you like your weirdness?  A subtle nudge towards the untoward?  A quick zap of zany?  Or a full-on assault of aberration?  Whatever your taste, you’ll find it here, and many more strains of strange that you didn’t suspect existed.  From magic rain to a talking (severed) head, extraordinary eggs to belligerent birds, the stories in this collection enter the rabbit hole to explore its hidden corners and winding ways.  Through all the variety, what they have in common is originality, creativity and fine writing.

While I will wait for hard copy before reading the whole thing, I really have read several of the stories (not just the one I contributed).  I solemnly swear (or affirm) that the following paragraph is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

The Rabbit Hole‘s first edition has 35 diverse selections by 35 authors.  Anybody with a taste for weirdness has a good chance of finding some things they like.  Moods are as varied as lengths, which run from 1 to 17 pages (with 7.6 as the average).  There is humanity and humor as well as some darkness and much weirdness.

flowers, humor, photography

Vibrant Synergy

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Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Vibrant Colors

I like the synergy when a few good things up their game by working together, as with peanuts and chocolate.  When they do not clash, bright colors can work together in vibrant synergy.

Pink and Green:

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Magenta and Yellow (with a bee):

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With help from blue and green, the pink and yellow flowers in the following photo team up to illustrate a deep truth about statistics.  Really.

Outside of CFFC, I posted the photo along with a beautiful image found on the web that espresses the same deep truth in another way.  Both ways have no equations, no jargon, and no saturated fat.  Click on the photo to see the details.

daff_pink-rebel._Yellow-10_840x960

 

food, humor, language, photography

Lime Time

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The color word lime is used for many light or yellowish kinds of green.


Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Lime or Light Green

New leaves often display a version of lime.

lime-leaves_fix_840x1214

 
Actual limes display several versions of lime on the outside and …

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… yet another version on the inside.

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Got tequila?

Dry Margarita

A bottle of premixed margaritas is convenient, but the contents are too sweet for me.  To get a drier margarita with minimal mixological effort, I use roughly equal amounts of premixed margarita and dry white wine.  Tho admittedly not a world-class margarita, the result is a good no-fuss drink.

flowers, humor, photography

Threesome of Floral Threesomes

In response to challenge with the word [threesome], here is a threesome of floral threesomes that pushes the envelope of what flower pix can illustrate.
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One Word Sunday — Threesome

As Susie left home to start a new life with Dale, her mother watched and wondered.  Would the mixed marriage work?

susie-dale-mama_840x598

Other floral threesomes can illustrate a poem and a point that go beyond flowers.  The following images link to earlier posts that use them.  Can U guess what the posts are about before clicking on the images?

I used 3 clusters of rhododendron blossoms to illustrate an abstract haiku.

Rhodo_928x599

In about 40 yrs of making bouquets from the many daylilies in my yard, how often have I seen 3 flowers blooming on just 1 stalk?  Exactly once, on the left in this bouquet.

3-on-1
With 3 separate stalks, the commonplace floral threesome on the right is a freebie, beyond what my title promises.  Buy 3; get 4.

food, humor, photography

Salad Limerick

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Gratitude ~ Pic and a Word Challenge #150

salad_ObRem_Y-10_840x840

Making a Peaceful Salad
|Behold (with gratitude for green)
|bright purple, red, and carotene.
|Spinach leaves have saved the day,
|and they taste good anyway.
|No colors clash with green between.

humor, photography

Elmer’s Epoxy Epic

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Cee’s Oddball Photo Challenge: 2018-08-12

dark-shards_840x671

? ? ? ?

What U see depends on when U look.
Here is the same detail under typical lighting:

blue-shards_840x671

A detail of what?
Scroll down to see the answer (image & text).

Keep scrolling …

hide-baffle_840x866

A clever craftsperson repurposed some windows from an old house as suncatchers, with shards of colored glass held in place by clear liquid epoxy.  Alas, the epoxy components were not measured just right for the one I bought.  (It’s difficult.)  Sticky gunk oozed from cracks and seams after a few weeks of exposure to hot sun.

An epic battle between Elmer’s Glue and the rogue epoxy ended in victory for Elmer.  On one side of the suncatcher, a thick coating of glue was needed in some places.  I added more to make a whimsical mix of clear and cloudy, roughly 50-50.  The ratio is not so critical as when mixing epoxy.

My suncatcher is a good size for hiding the squirrel baffle above my hanging bird feeder, and it has withstood years of hot summer sun w/o having any gunk get past Elmer.  On the other hand, a few squirrels have gotten past the baffle.

humor, photography

Navajo Rug

Four of the eleven items specified in a CFFC challenge are sitting on a Navajo rug.  Glad I do not need everybody in one photo.  It’s a small rug.
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Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Week 1 Photo
geometry, bushes, window, brick, etc

Four of the items mentioned in this challenge are sitting on a small Navajo rug:

NavajoRug_840x682

Geometry, bushes, window, brick, curtain, green, tan, wall, building, dark red, tree

Glad I do not need everybody in one photo.
As I said, it’s a small rug.

humor, photography

Looking at Lichen

Contrary to appearances, lichen is organic and growing.  But it grows slowly.  Really slowly.


Organic ~ Pic and a Word Challenge #147

lichen-2_840x536

Lichen looks like flaking paint.
Inorganic? No, it ain’t.

Do not try to watch it grow.
Each micron takes a day or so.

Nerdy 😉 Note

Dunno enough lichenology to say how slowly my lichen grows.  From the wide range of known lichen growth rates and my very casual observations, I could go with either “hour” or “day” as a crude monosyllabic estimate of long my lichen takes to grow a millionth of a meter wider.  Compared to watching lichens grow, watching grass grow would be like watching hockey.

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humor, photography

The Towel Brothers

There are grander true stories of failure and redemption, but this one can be illustrated by photos with many horizontal lines, in response to a challenge.
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Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Horizontal Line(s)

Ken is a colorful “kitchen towel” but …

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… can’t keep up with Hank (a “hand towel”) at drying.

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What else can towels do? I repurposed Ken to …

repurpose-1_840x393

… block glare from the light over the sink …

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… and left the drying to Hank.

terry-2_840x740

humor, photography

Columns Still Vertical

The roof they supported is long gone, but many of this Greek temple’s columns have not noticed.  The temple is even more ancient than the slides I scanned to make this post.
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Vertical=001

Vertical=002

Vertical=003

Vertical=004

The images were scanned in 2018 from slides taken at Paestum in 1977, with pushed Ektachrome film in a Canon SLR with a 50 mm lens.  The slides were in remarkably good condition when Indiana Jones unearthed them.

The temple is even more ancient than the slides.